Diwali is a time for vibrant colours, twinkling lights and delicious food! Ready? Then check out our top facts about Diwali…
When is Diwali?
The exact dates change each year but this year, Diwali fell on Monday 24 October.
Facts about Diwali
Diwali is an important religious festival originating in India. People often think of Diwali as a Hindu festival, but it is also celebrated by Sikhs and Jains.
Diwali takes place annually and lasts for five days, marking the start of the Hindu New Year. The exact dates change each year and are determined by the position of the moon – but it usually falls between October and November.
The word Diwali means “row of lights” in an Ancient language of India, called Sanskrit. During this festival, people decorate their homes with lights and oil lamps, called ‘diyas’.
For many people, Diwali honours the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. The lights and lamps are said to help Lakshmi find her way into peoples’ homes, bringing prosperity in the year to come!
Did you already know what Diwali was?
Today, this fascinating festival is celebrated by thousands of people in countries all around the world. During Diwali, Hindus living outside India gather at places of worship called mandirs to leave offerings to deities, watch firework displays and eat yummy food together!7
Rangoli is a popular Diwali tradition –– beautiful patterns made using colourful powders and flowers. People draw rangoli on the floor by the entrance of their homes to welcome the gods and bring good luck!
But it’s not just about lights and legends, Diwali is a time to have fun with friends and family! People exchange gifts and sweets, enjoy delicious feasts, watch firework displays and wear new clothes. It’s a time to clean and decorate your home, too.
The city of Leicester, in the United Kingdom, holds the largest Diwali celebrations outside of India. Every year, tens of thousands of people gather in the streets to enjoy vibrant shows of light, music and dancing!
Do you have any friends or family that celebrate Diwali? If so, what do they do?