Diwali, or Deepavali / Dipawali, is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. The festival gets its name from the rows of clay lamps (Deepa) that Indians place, outside their homes to symbolise the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. During the celebration, temples, houses, shops and office buildings are brightly illuminated by lanterns and Deepa lamps.
Diwali lights the paths of all.
The preparations, rituals and festivals typically last five days, with the festival climaxing on its third day which corresponds with the darkest night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika
The Five Day Diwali Celebration For All
Over the centuries, Diwali has become a national festival that is enjoyed tremendously and celebrated by most Indians regardless of faith. This grouping includes the Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs.
Hindus have different interpretations of the Diwali story based upon where they live. However, in all of the definitions, one common thread rings true—the festival marks the victory of good over evil.
The Festival of Lights is always about good winning over evil
On the first day of Diwali, people consider it auspicious to spring clean the home and shop for gold or kitchen utensils.
On the second day, people decorate their homes with clay lamps and create design patterns called rangoli on the floor using coloured powders or sand.
The Diwali Feast For Friends and Family
The third day is the primary day of the festival when families gather together for Lakshmi puja, a prayer to Goddess Lakshmi followed by mouth-watering feasts and firework festivities.
Diwali brings a little light to all lives
The fourth day is the first day of the new year when friends and relatives visit with gifts and best wishes for the season.
On the last day of Diwali, brothers visit their married sisters who welcome them with love and a lavish meal.
Diwali is celebrated with all, by all.
During the season of Diwali, numerous rural townships and villages host melas, or fairs, where local producers and artisans produce goods and trade. There are generally a variety of entertainments that are made available for inhabitants of the local community to enjoy.
In particular, the local womenfolk decorate themselves in colourful attire and adorn their hands with henna. In the modern day, Diwali melas are held at colleges, or universities, campuses or as community events by members of the Indian diaspora – people of Indian descent who were born in different countries. At these lively events, a variety of music, dance and arts performances, food, crafts and cultural celebrations are featured.