Diwali or Deepavali is one of the most colorful festivals in India. It is commonly known as the Festival of Lights. This festival is observed by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs alike. Diwali is a much anticipated public holiday in India.

About Diwali

This festival is held for 5 days and the time is usually between the middle of October and middle of November. Aside from India, Diwali is regarded a public holiday in the following countries:

  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Guyana
  • Nepal
  • Malaysia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Singapore
  • Fiji

The word Diwali has originated from the word Dipavali which refers to a row of lamps. Diwali entails the kindling of little clay lamps or deeps or divas full with oil to mark the victory of good over evil. The celebrators of Diwali put on new dresses and distribute sweets and savories among others. A number of Indian business groups start the financial year with the 1st day of Dipavali praying for fortune the next year. People of all age groups burst firecrackers to make the event more vibrant.

According to Hindu mythology, Diwali signifies the homecoming of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after conquering Ravana (the demon king) and the monarch of Lanka in the classic Ramayana. Dipavali also observes the killing of the evil king Narakasura by Lord Krishna. Both imply the triumph of good over evil.

According to Jain religion, Diwali signifies the accomplishment of Mokhsa (release or liberation) by the 24th Tirthankara of Jain religion, Mahavira. According to the Sikh religion, Diwali is celebrated to remember the coming back of Guru Har Gobind Ji to Amritsar following the liberation of 52 Hindu kings held captive by Emperor Jehangir in Gwalior Fort. People kindle lamps and wax lights to observe his arrival. This is the reason why Sikhs denote Diwali as Bandi Chhorh Divas or the day of liberation of prisoners.

Diwali is a national festival in countries like Nepal and India.

According to the Hindu Calendar, Diwali is observed for a period of 5 days. It falls between September and October or in the latter part of Ashwin and culminates at the start of Kartika month (October–November). The first day is observed as Dhan Teras. The concluding day is known as Yama Dvitiya, which marks the 2nd day of the latter half of Kartika month. Every day of Diwali signifies one observation of the 6 main tales related to the festival.

Significance Of Diwali

Though Diwali is famously named as the “festival of lights”, the most important religious interpretation is “the wakefulness of the inner light”.

It is the most important festival in North India and is mostly observed in North Indian areas of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. Fundamental to Hindu way of life is the statement that there is something outside the corporeal body and soul which is unadulterated, endless and perpetual, known as the Atman. Precisely, as we observe the nativity of our corporeal form of life, Diwali is the observation of this divine presence, specifically the understanding of which outdoes all shadows (eliminates all hindrances and drives out all unawareness), arousing the individual to one’s genuine qualities and characteristics, not in the form of organic life, but in the form of the static, endless, subjective and inspirational realism. With the awareness of the Atman appears universal sympathy, affection and the consciousness of the unity of all objects (improved awareness). This fetches Ananda (internal happiness or calm).

The other festivals except Diwali which are celebrated in Delhi are:

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