What is Diwali?

Diwali also known as the 'Festival of lights' or 'Deepavali' is a Hindu festival (though it is also celebrated by Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists) that goes of for 5 days, usually around mid-October/November, and it is one of the most important Hindu events. Typically as the names' meaning suggests candles and lights are a huge part of  the festivals, with lights being placed everywhere along the streets, on the water, on buildings and even in the air with floating paper lanterns. It is a remarkable site! Even more so because Diwali takes place during the darkest new moon of the year allowing the lights to shine even brighter. In addition to this, plenty of decorations are put up, fireworks are lit and gifts are exchanged with one another.

Why is Diwali Celebrated?

Diwali is celebrated for many reasons, some religious and others usually unique depending on the culture you hail from. For example celebrating moral & spiritual values and bringing attention to what being good will bring to people.

It is also a way to celebrate goddesses like Lakshmi the goddess of wealth by lighting lamps so that she may find her way into people's homes. Diwali is also about personal rejuvenation, starting anew and given an opportunity to reflect on the past, put it behind us and move forward into something new.

Overall, the festival is about bringing peace to yourself, becoming a better person and bring the light into yourself. It is a wonderful event because of everyone; be it family, friends or strangers - all get together and celebrate this festival of light- opening new paths ahead of themselves.

Did you know?

  • Diwali is by far the most famous festival of India. Not only is it the biggest and brightest festival but it is celebrated for 5 days.
  • During the festival diyas are lit (clay/mud lamps filled with ghee and a cotton wick) and will stay lit throughout the night.
  • The festival usually involves lots of gifts exchanging and having huge feasts.
  • The idols of Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi are placed together for prayers and rituals. The former in worshipped first then followed by the latter.
  • Even though Diwali is a huge festival in India, it is important to mention how dangerous the firework pollution is, due to the sheer number of them going off. It effects the air, water and light (making it tougher to see through the atmosphere and up at the stars.)

This year's Diwali is celebrated Thursday 4th November. Have fun!

If you are looking for some Diwali events around Birmingham why not check out eventbrite HERE to see what is on!