- October 30 -

Diwali

Diwali (Divali) also called the 

Diwali

Diwali (Divali) also called the "festival of lights", is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartik. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November.

Diwali is an important festival for Hindus. The name of festive days as well as the rituals of Diwali vary significantly among Hindus, based on the region of India. In many parts of India, the festivities start with Dhanteras, followed by Naraka Chaturdasi on second day, Diwali on the third day, Diwali Padva dedicated to wife-husband relationship on the fourth day, and festivities end with Bhau-beej dedicated to sister-brother bond on the fifth day. Dhanteras usually falls eighteen days after Dussehra.

On the same night that Hindus celebrate Diwali, Jains celebrate a festival of lights to mark the attainment of moksha by Mahavira, Sikhs similarly celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas, and Arya Samajists celebrate Shardiya Nav-Shasyeshti.

Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.

History
Diwali dates back to ancient times in India, as a festival after the summer harvest in the Hindu calendar month of Kartika. The festival is mentioned in Padma Purana, the Skanda Purana, and other Sanskrit Hindu scriptures; the divas (lamps) are mentioned in Skanda Purana to symbolically represent parts of sun, the cosmic giver of light and energy to all life, who seasonally transitions in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik.

Celebration
The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (or deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness.
Indians celebrate with family gatherings, glittering clay lamps, festive fireworks, strings of electric lights, bonfires, flowers, sharing of sweets, and worship to Lakshmi. Some believe that Lakshmi wanders the Earth looking for homes where she will be welcomed. People open their doors and windows and light lamps to invite Lakshmi in.
The fourth day — the main Diwali festival day and the beginning of the lunar month of Karttika — marks the beginning of the new year according to the Vikrama calendar.
It is generally a time for visiting, exchanging gifts, cleaning and decorating houses, feasting, setting off fireworks displays, and wearing new clothes. Gambling is encouraged during this season as a way of ensuring good luck for the coming year and in remembrance of the games of dice played by the Lord Shiva and Parvati on Mount Kailasa or similar contests between Radha and Krishna. Ritually, in honour of Lakshmi, the female player always wins.

Source:
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/166786/Diwali
http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/stories/peopleplaces/diwali/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwali

Categories:

More holidays on this day:

World Thrift Day

You may also like...

Interesting events from Religious category.

World Day of the Sick

The World Day of the Sick is a feast day of the Roman Catholic Church which was instituted on May 13, 1992 by Pope John Paul II. Beginning on February 11, 1993, it is celebrated every year on the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes, for all believers seeks to be "a special time of prayer and...

Rapture Party Day - Judgment Day

You may remember that Harold Camping, president of Family Radio - a Christian broadcasting network - predicted that May 21, 2011 would be the beginning of the end of the world. On that evening, many non-believers - both Christian and non-Christian alike - celebrated what they felt was a misguided...

Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and the month in which Muslims believe the Quran was revealed. Ramadan (also known as Ramadhan or Ramzan) is a period of prayer, fasting, charity-giving and self-accountability for Muslims. The word “Ramadan” is derived from an Arabic...

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day

Quebec's National Holiday (French: La fete nationale) is a provincial public holiday celebrated annually on June 24, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day. The festivities occur on June 23 and 24 and, since 1978, are publicly financed and organized by a National Holiday Organizing Committee (Comité...

St. Swithin's Day

St. Swithin (or more properly, Swithun) was a Saxon Bishop of Winchester. He was born in the kingdom of Wessex and educated in its capital, Winchester. He was famous for charitable gifts and building churches. A legend says that as the Bishop lay on his deathbed, he asked to be buried...

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is the evening or entire day preceding Christmas Day — the widely celebrated annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It occurs on December 24 in the Western Christian Church and the secular world at large, and is one of the most culturally significant celebrations...

Download KeepIn Calendar

Enjoy the interesting stories even on your phone or tablet