Diwali - The Festival of Light
3rd November – Millions of Hindus from all over the globe unite to celebrate the largest festival on the Hindu calendar, Diwali, the festival of light.
Most commonly associated with the return of Hindu deity Rama, from exile, and the honour of the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, the meaning and significance behind Diwali celebrations vary from state to state. However, the common theme of the triumph of good over evil is consistently resonant throughout.
Leading up to Diwali, Hindu families will spend the week cleaning and decorating their homes, similar to a spring clean. They will ready the walkways of their houses with beautiful powdered art known as Rangoli and small oil lamps called divas. In addition to this, many families begin to plan for the Diwali celebrations by preparing a huge feast for all of their loved ones to enjoy. Schools and workplaces all over India are given the week off so they can be with their loved ones and fully engage in the festivities.
On Diwali day, most Hindu families will go to the temple (Mandir) together to receive blessings from the gods and deities. After, families will visit their closest friends and relatives to exchange gifts and sweets. Hindu women will dress in their finest attire for this special day and then return home to begin the celebrations.
Families get together and enjoy the largest of meals, and after arrange their own firework displays for all to enjoy. Large displays are held in parks and gardens, accommodating very large crowds up until very late at night – be sure to visit!