One of India’s most popular and biggest festivals which symbolizes the spiritual ‘ victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.’
Diwali or Deepavali in Sanskrit, (means, ‘a row of lights’) is an annual Hindu Festival of Lights, the most significant event on the Indian calendar. Diwali is not only a major holiday marking, the Hindu New Year, but it is also a religious and spiritual celebration, not only to Hinduism but also to Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism.
It is celebrated in India and by the Indian diaspora. The observance of Diwali varies annually, based on the Lunisolar calendar of the Hindus, but it generally falls in October or November depending on the cycle of the moon. The main festival night for Diwali is when there’s a new moon (Hindu Lunisolar month Kartik) and the night sky is very dark, making it more dramatic since the symbolic burning of candles and lamps is highlighted and the ensuing fireworks will definitely brighten up the sky.
There are various interpretations of Diwali. In the Ramayan, people learn of Lord Rama’s glorious and long-awaited return to his Kingdom of Ayodhya, after exiled for fourteen years, and defeating Ravana, the demon king. His devotees celebrated his return with joy and happiness, lighting diyas (small clay oil lamps) to welcome him back to his kingdom.
Diwali Festival also celebrates Lakshmi or Laxmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity and pray to her for peace and joy. It is widely celebrated with garlands of jasmine and marigold, food, music, fireworks, lamps and lights, in many countries around the world.