Festival of Lights
Celebrate Diwali 2011 in the spirit of harmony and joy with fresh Indian sweets
Diwali in 2012 is on Tuesday, November 13.
WHAT IS IT?
Diwali is the holy tradition that symbolizes the illumination of the mind - lamps and fireworks are lighted to signify victory of light over darkness. It also traditionally marks the beginning of the New Year for Hindus. It is a time to rejoice.
WHEN IS IT?
Diwali is a five-day celebration that begins on the fifteenth day of Kartika according to the lunar calendar. In 2005 it will be celebrated Nov 1. Diwali is very special in India and is celebrated in the month of October or November according to the lunar[moon] calendar.
WHO CELEBRATES IT?
Diwali is celebrated by people of Hindu faith all over the world. The celebration means as much to Hindus as Christmas does to Christians.
HOW IS IT CELEBRATED?
Diwali comes from the Sanskrit "Deepawali"-Deepa meaning light, wali meaning row, hence people put out rows of lights/lamps called diyas. Diwali is popularly known as a festival of lights.
Everyone has a lot of fun on Diwali. Diwali is a combination of Christmas, where gifts are exchanges and the Fourth Of July, where there are fireworks. People get together and exchange greetings, distribute sweets, cook lots of delicious food, wear new clothes and burst fireworks. Each house is decorated with earthen [pottery] lamps called diyas. In India people also decorate the entrances into their houses with beautiful and wonderful rangoli designs which are patterns created with colorful sand like sand art.
As with other Indian festivals, Diwali signifies many different things to people across the country. In north India, Diwali celebrates Rama's homecoming from 14 years of exile, that is his return to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana and his coronation as king; in Gujarat, the festival is celebrated to honor goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth; and in Bengal, it is related with the goddess Kali. But everywhere, it is celebrated with the same spirit and signifies the renewal of illuminated life.
GIFT GIVING ON DIWALI?
Mnay of our visitors to this site ask us what they should be giving for Diwali. They tell us that they have been invited to an Indian Diwali party and would like to know what gift to take. They are not sure what the traditions for Diwali Gift giving are. We have come up with a few gifts that are perfect for Diwali. To view Indian sweets please click here. The traditional gifts are sweets in India but one may also give lamps or candles or something in steel for the kitchen according to the traditions in India.
The typical wishes are for happiness, success, prosperity and joy in the coming year.