Diwali is also called Deepavali or the “festival of lights“. It is a five-day Hindu festival which usually falls eighteen days after Dussehra. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali falls between mid-October and mid-November.
Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.
For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BC. For Sikhs, Diwali is particularly important because it celebrates the release from prison of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind, and 52 other princes with him, in 1619.
The name “Diwali” or “Divali” is a contraction of deepavali which translates into “row of lamps”. Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. These lamps are kept on during the night and one’s house is cleaned, both done in order to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome. Firecrackers are burst because it is believed that it drives away evil spirits. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends.
Next year, Diwali will be celebrated on 23rd of Octobre 2014. Bed and Chai Team is waiting for you to celebrate with us!