When is Diwali?
In 2022 Diwali will be celebrated on Monday 24th October. The celebrations last for 5 days
Who celebrates Diwali and its history?
This is an Ancient Hindu festival and is a very significant date in the Indian calendar it also coincides with the Hindu New Year.
This day is celebrated to honour the triumph of Good over Evil. It is celebrated by followers of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism.
Each of these religions has its own different reasons to celebrate the festival. A popular believe is from the legend of Lord Rama and his wife Sita, returning to their kingdom from exile after defeating the demon King Ravana in the 15th century BC. It is celebrated today with large firework displays which signify the fireworks let off on Lord Rama’s return. The festival is on the darkest day of the new moon which symbolises victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness.
The word Deepawali, refers to rows of Diya's, or clay lamps which are used to decorate their homes, this is traditionally a time to clean the home top to bottom and to take a special oil bath to be cleansed and wear new clothes. This is also a time in which many families give presents to one another and share sweets, it is also traditional to give food and clothing to those in need during this time period.
How is Diwali celebrated?
Visit friends and relatives
It is traditional for friends and family to come together and to celbrate the holiday. Everyone wears their best or new clothes.
Houses are decorated and illuminated inside and out, with Diya's (lamps) and Rangoli (Array of light). This is a traditional Indian art form, dating back from some 5,000 years of multi coloured decorations on floors and tabletops. This symbolises wealth, joy and prosperity.
Cooking a feast
Cooking and eating are a major part of the festivities. A wide range selection of sweet and savoury dishes and delicacies are enjoyed and shared.
Light and fireworks
As well as houses being lit by Diya's, people light up the outside with Diya's. Along with fireworks, release lighted lanterns go up into the night sky.
Many will perform worship ceremonies of Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth. To celebrate and honour the triumph of good over evil.
The Giving of gifts
Throughout the holiday many gifts and presents are given and exchanged, it is an important part of the celebrations. Everything from food, sweets, clothing, jewellery and trinkets are given to each other amongst friends and family.