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Diwali: The Date, Significance and Traditions

Diwali: The Date, Significance and Traditions

posted: 2021-11-05 13:00:00 +0800

Diwali, also known as Divali, is a 5-day Indian festival of lights celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. The festival is celebrated during the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika and it takes place from 2 November to 6 November with the main day of celebration on Thursday 4 November in 2021. Diwali is a symbol of "victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance". Each religion marks different historical events and stories. For instance, Hindus celebrate the return of deities Rama and Sita to Ayodhya after their 14-year exile. Some Buddhists also celebrate Diwali so that in addition to India, Diwali is a public holiday in Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Fiji and Nepal too.

According to statistics, the global population celebrating Diwali exceeds one billion.

Related: Marigold, the main flower of Diwali in India

Diwali Traditions

Since Diwali is a public holiday, most of companies are closed in India and people are going back home for celebrations and reunion. Therefore, just like our Lunar New Year, people clean up their houses, shop, visit relatives and give gifts.

Deepavali delux gift

- Bless on the Ganges

The Ganges River is the most sacred place for Hindus. During Diwali, devotees will take a bath in the holy river to purify their bodies and souls. When night falls, the devout people fold leaves into a bowl shape, put in oil and wicks and light them, letting their wishes flow along the Ganges to the gods.

- Gold Purchases

The first day of Diwali is “Dhanteras”. Diwali is also celebrated for the birth of Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and wealth, so Hindus consider the beginning of Diwali a auspicious day for buying gold, silver, and other metals. It is believed that new "Dhan" (wealth) or jewelries made of precious metal is a sign of good luck. And the consumption of gold jewelry increases by about 20% to 30% during Diwali.

- House Decorations

The second day is called “Naraka Chaturdashi”. Hindus get up earlier than usual, wash their hair and wear new clothes on this day. A hearty breakfast will be served and they enjoy a variety of traditional sweet dishes on the midday meal. Devotees clean their houses and make decorations on the floor, such as Rangolis. In the evening, they light up all of oil lamps and welcome gods. Naraka Chaturdashi is also the day for purchasing festive foods, especially sweets, and the day for visiting friends, relatives and business associates to exchange gifts and have feasts.