10 Things to Know About Diwali – The Festival of Lights


10 Things to Know About Diwali – The Festival of Lights

Diwali is the five-day festival of lights celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains around the world. Also known as Deepavali, it is one of the most important and colourful festivals in India. Here are a few facts about this festival:

1. The Date and Festival Traditions

Diwali is celebrated in the autumn every year, usually between mid-October and mid-November. On the day of the festival, Hindus light diyas (oil lamps) to signify the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. The festival also observes other traditions such as the exchange of sweets and gifts with family and friends.

2. Spiritual Significance

The Diwali festival is celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil. It is said that on this day, the Hindu god Rama returned home after 14 years of exile. To celebrate his victory over the demon Ravana, the people of Ayodhya lit diyas.

3. Fireworks and Celebrations

Fireworks form an integral part of Diwali celebrations. People light sparklers, rockets and other fireworks to celebrate the festival. Diwali is also an occasion to celebrate the deity of wealth, goddess Lakshmi. People make special offerings to the goddess and decorate their homes with lights and decorations.

4. Worship and Prayers

On Diwali, Hindus worship Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi. They seek the blessings of the deities for health and wealth. The prayers are accompanied by the lighting of diyas and the offering of flowers, fruits and incense.

5. Preparing Sweets

Making and sharing traditional Indian sweets is an important part of Diwali. Sweets made from milk, ghee, and sugar are prepared and shared with friends and family. Sweets like laddoos, jalebis, halwa and barfis are favourites during Diwali.

6. Lighting Up Houses

On Diwali, homes are illuminated with diyas and colourful lights. People decorate walls and doors of their homes with rangolis – colourful patterns usually made with flowers, coloured rice and powder.

7. Rangoli and Kolam Drawing

Making Rangoli and Kolam (patterns made with coloured powders) is an integral part of Diwali celebrations. People usually draw them at the entrance of their homes to welcome Goddess Lakshmi.

8. Buying New Clothes

In India, people usually buy new clothes during Diwali. People dress up in their best outfits to celebrate the festival.

9. Family Get-togethers

Diwali is the perfect time for family gatherings. People travel to their hometowns to be with family and exchange gifts.

10. Environmental Impact

Unfortunately, the environmental impact of Diwali is often overlooked. Fireworks are a leading cause of air pollution and can have a serious impact on health. It is important to be mindful of our choices and opt for eco-friendly options such as diyas and paper lanterns.

Conclusion

Diwali is an incredible festival of lights, filled with joy, colours, and festivities. Let us celebrate Diwali responsibly and take meaningful steps to preserve our environment.

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