Diwali is a hugely important festival in the Hindu calendar! Often referred to as the Festival of Lights, this Indian national holiday is one of the most exciting dates across the year for worshippers. It’s often a very colourful occasion, meaning that many people take the time to set up some truly spectacular decorations. However, it does have course have huge cultural and religious importance for many people, too.
Let’s take a look at some interesting and fun facts about Diwalli to help introduce you to this visually vibrant and always memorable festival and celebration.
Diwali traditionally takes place between October and November, and technically bases during the Hindu month of Kartika. It’s traditionally a five-day celebration and is sometimes referred to as Deepavali.
It’s largely known as a Hindu festival and celebration; however, it is also actively celebrated by many worshippers of other faiths and religions, too. It’s actually widely celebrated by followers of Sikhism and Jainism, too!
Sikhs who celebrate Diwali do so in line with their own festival, which marks the release of Guru Hargobind Sahibji at the hands of Shah Jahan. The calendar events line up wonderfully!
The festival is a celebration giving worship and thanks to a number of important deities in the Hindu faith. It is particularly focused on the deity Lakshmi, who is commonly associated with themes of prosperity. However, traditional worship during the period will also give thanks to deities such as Dhanvantari, Yama, Krishna, Vishnu and Vishvakarman.
Diwali is seen as a great opportunity for many people and business owners to refresh and renew their homes and premises. Therefore, on the lead up to the festival, many people will take the opportunity to deeply clean, renovate and even completely redesign their properties.
It is around this time where worshippers will also start new business years, much in the same way that people in the UK ‘tie up their books’ at the start of the tax year in April.
It’s also an important date for Hindu farmers, too, as they will often end their year’s harvesting in line with the onset of Diwali. This is also fitting as winter often drifts in after this date.
Diwali has grown to become a major shopping celebration, too! It is easy to see enormous sales events and shopping festivals take place across regions which celebrate the festival in the mainstream. It’s also thought to be good practice to purchase new items during Diwali.
One of the most important things you can do to celebrate Diwali is to make a real show not only of your home, but also yourself! It’s traditional to wear your very best clothing and to decorate your inner and outer property in lights and bright decorations. Diwali is also an occasion for public feasts and for giving and receiving presents.
It’s thought that more than 800 million people celebrate Diwali around the world each year!
Diwali’s dates change each year in line with the Hindu calendar – there is no exact date for the five-day festival year on year.
Diwali is a festival which surrounds the concept of the deity, Lakshmi, offering happiness and divine wealth to all those who appeal to her. Therefore, it’s very much the custom to make as bright and as flamboyant a display as possible!
The word Diwali actually translates in a rather apt way, too. Its variant Deepavali, too, also means ‘row of lights’. Very fitting for one of the most visually stunning celebrations you’ll see across the globe, taking place in many different forms!
Crucially, many people see Diwali as an opportunity for light to overcome the powers of darkness. It is also seen as a celebration of good triumphing over evil, bringing light back into the world. That’s certainly a cause most people can surely get behind!
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about Diwali that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!