All About Diwali
Diwali is the biggest and most well known Hindu festival that occurs during October or November each year, according to the Hindu calendar. Diwali derives its name from the Hindu word Deepawali, with deep meaning ‘light’ and awali meaning 'a row of’, in other words - a row of lights. Diwali is also known as the Festival of Lights as houses and cities become decorated with hundreds or even thousands of bright lights and candles, while big displays of fireworks sparkle and shoot across the night sky. Music fills the air, bodies dance through the streets and performers unite to give their best shows. People come together to share gifts, share food and to pray and give thanks for the precious gift of life. The Diwali Festival spans over the length of 5 days and is celebrated not only in India but all around the world. Each of these 5 days relates to a different theme and each is celebrated in a slightly different way.
Diwali is an age-old tradition that spans back many years into Hindu history. It is believed that Lakshmi, the Goddess of knowledge and wealth, comes to visit every home during the time of Diwali in order to bless people with prosperity and wealth for the following year to come. Lakshmi is joined by Lord Ganesh to bring people luck and good fortune for the New Year, and people lay out gifts and offerings for these Hindu Gods. Diwali is a scared time for the Hindu culture and is a special time for them to express gratitude, spend time together, share, pray and welcome prosperity into their lives. People give their homes a spring clean and adorn their most exquisite garments in order to celebrate this auspicious event. The Diwali Festival, or the Festival of Lights, is most certainly a spectacle to behold and is a feast for your eyes with all of the beautiful lights, fireworks, artwork and decorations. The Hindu culture is one of the most expressive, creative, exciting, spiritual and inspiring cultures and this is clear to see when you set your eyes on the Festival of Lights.
During Diwali, people of the Hindu culture celebrate by decorating their homes with traditional artwork, sharing gifts, lighting candles in a ceremonial manner and creating beautiful patterns and artworks on the floor using coloured powder or dyed rice grains. The light emitted from the candles and lanterns is believed to attract the spirits of the Hindu Gods into their homes.