Diwali or Deepavali is the
Hindu festival of lights celebrated every
year in autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in southern
hemisphere). It is an official holiday in Fiji, Guyana,
India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka,
Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. On the island of Jamaica, it is
celebrated proudly by the
Indo-Jamaican community, however in 2010 it
was inaugurated as an official yearly event at the historic Devon
House residence for the first time, in an effort to celebrate the
country's Indian heritage on a national level. One of the most
popular festivals of Hinduism, it spiritually signifies the victory of
light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and
hope over despair. Its celebration includes millions of
lights shining on housetops, outside doors and windows, around temples
and other buildings in the communities and countries where it is
observed. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend
over four to six day period. The word
Diwali is used by some
communities to mean all the festivities while others think of it as
one festival night on the no moon day of the
Hindu Lunisolar month
Bikram Sambat calendar (the month of
Aippasi in Tamil
Calendar). In the Gregorian calendar,
Diwali falls in mid-October and
Before Diwali, people clean, renovate, and decorate their homes and
offices. During Diwali, people dress up in new clothes or their
best outfits, light up diyas (lamps and candles) inside and outside
their home, participate in family puja (prayers) to
Lakshmi – the
goddess of prosperity, light fireworks, engage in family feasts,
sharing mithai (sweets), and exchange of gifts between family members
and close friends.
Diwali also marks a major shopping period in
nations where it is celebrated.
The name of festive days as well as the rituals of
significantly among Hindus, based on the region of India. In many
parts of India, the festivities start with Vasubaras, the day for
the cattle, followed by
Dhanteras or Dhanatrayodashi (in northern and
western part of India).
Dhanteras is followed by
Naraka Chaturdasi and
Laxmi Puja. Laxmi Puja on the no moon day is considered the main day
Diwali in some communities. Next day after the no moon day, is
Goverdhan pooja in Northern part of the country. On the same day, in
Diwali Padva is celebrated which is dedicated to the
relationship of wife and husband. The festivities end with Bhai Dooj
dedicated to the bond between sister and brother.
falls eighteen days after Dussehra.
On the same night that
Hindus celebrate Diwali, Jains celebrate a
festival also called
Diwali to mark the attainment of moksha by
Bandi Chhor Divas
Bandi Chhor Divas to mark the
release of Guru
Hargobind from a
Mughal Empire prison, and Newar
Buddhists, unlike the majority of Buddhists, celebrate
1 Etymology and nomenclature
3.1 Spiritual significance
4 Description and rituals
Dhanteras (Day 1)
Naraka Chaturdasi (Day 2)
Lakshmi Puja (Day 3)
Balipratipada (Day 4)
4.5 Bhai Duj, Bhaiya Dooji (Day 5)
4.6 Festival of lights
4.7 Festival of peace
5 Regional variations
New Year celebrations
5.3 Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
Goa and Konkan
5.10 Tamil Nadu
5.11 Uttar Pradesh
5.12 West Bengal,
Bihar & Assam
6 Outside India
6.8 New Zealand
6.12 Sri Lanka
6.13 United Kingdom
6.14 United States
7 Economics of Diwali
8.1 Air pollution
8.2 Burn injuries
8.3 Complaints from dog owners
10 See also
13 External links
Etymology and nomenclature
Indoor Diya decoration on
Naraka Chaturdasi night
Outdoor Diya decoration on
Diwali lanterns before
Dhanteras in Maharashtra
As Tihar in Nepal
Bandi Chhor Divas
Bandi Chhor Divas celebrations in Amritsar
Diwali night fireworks over a city (Chennai)
Diwali Mithai (sweets)
Diwali festivities include a celebration of sights, sounds, arts and
flavors. The festivities vary between different regions.
Diwali (English: /dɪˈwɑːliː/) or
Sanskrit dīpāvali means
"series of lights", and is derived from dīpam "light, lamp" and
oli "glow of light".
Diwali is also known as dīpotsavam "festival of
The holiday is known as dipawoli in Assamese: দীপাৱলী,
dipaboli or dipali in Bengali:
দীপাবলি/দীপালি, divāḷi in Gujarati:
દિવાળી, divālī in Hindi: दिवाली, dīpavaḷi
in Kannada: ದೀಪಾವಳಿ, Konkani: दिवाळी,
Malayalam: ദീപാവലി, Marathi: दिवाळी,
dipābali in Odia: ଦିପାବଳୀ, dīvālī in Punjabi:
ਦੀਵਾਲੀ, diyārī in Sindhi: दियारी,
tīpāvaḷi in Tamil: தீபாவளி, and Telugu:
Galungan in Balinese and Swanti in Nepali:
स्वन्ति or tihar in Nepali: तिहार and Thudar
Parba in Tulu: ತುಡರ್ ಪರ್ಬ.
Diwali dates back to ancient times in India, as a festival after the
summer harvest in the
Hindu calendar month of Kartika. The festival is
Sanskrit texts such as the Padma Purana, the Skanda
Purana both completed in second half of 1st millennium AD but believed
to have been expanded from a core text from an earlier era. The diyas
(lamps) are mentioned in
Skanda Purana to symbolically represent parts
of the sun, the cosmic giver of light and energy to all life, who
seasonally transitions in the
Hindu calendar month of Kartik.
Hindus in some regions of
Diwali with the legend of
Nachiketa on Kartika amavasya (
Diwali night). The
Nachiketa story about right versus wrong, true wealth versus transient
wealth, knowledge versus ignorance is recorded in Katha Upanishad
composed in 1st millennium BC.
King Harsha in the 7th century
Deepavali as Deepapratipadutsava (Deepa = light, pratipada = first
day, utsava = festival), where lamps were lit and newly engaged brides
and grooms were given gifts.
Rajasekhara referred to Deepavali
as Dipamalika in his 9th century Kavyamimamsa, wherein he mentions the
tradition of homes being whitewashed and oil lamps decorating homes,
streets and markets in the night. The Persian traveller and
historian Al Biruni, in his 11th century memoir on India, wrote of
Deepavali being celebrated by
Hindus on New Moon day of the month of
Part of a series on
God / Highest Reality
God in Hinduism
God and gender
Other major Devas / Devis
Brahma Vaivarta Purana
Shastras and Sutras
Meditation and Charity
Rites of passage
Gurus, saints, philosophers
U. G. Krishnamurti
Ramachandra Dattatrya Ranade
Hinduism by country
Hinduism and Jainism / and Buddhism / and Sikhism / and
Judaism / and Christianity / and Islam
Diwali is one of the happiest holidays in
significant preparations. People clean their homes and decorate them
for the festivities.
Diwali is one of the biggest shopping seasons in
India and Nepal; people buy new clothes for themselves and their
families, as well as gifts, appliances, kitchen utensils, even
expensive items such as cars and gold jewellery. People also buy
gifts for family members and friends which typically include sweets,
dry fruits, and seasonal specialties depending on regional harvest and
customs. It is also the period when children hear ancient stories,
legends about battles between good and evil or light and darkness from
their parents and elders. Girls and women go shopping and create
rangoli and other creative patterns on floors, near doors and
walkways. Youth and adults alike help with lighting and preparing for
There is significant variation in regional practices and rituals.
Depending on the region, prayers are offered before one or more
deities, with most common being
Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and
Diwali night, fireworks light up the neighborhood
skies. Later, family members and invited friends celebrate the night
over food and sweets.
Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and
Sikhs and Newar
Buddhists to mark different historical events and stories, but
they all symbolise the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over
ignorance, good over evil, hope over despair.
The mythical stories told for
Diwali vary regionally and within the
traditions of Hinduism. Yet, they all point to joy and the
Diwali with lights to be a reminder of the importance
of knowledge, self inquiry, self-improvement, knowing and seeking the
good and the right path. It is a metaphor for resisting evil, for
dispelling darkness and for compassion to others.
Diwali is the
celebration of this inner light over spiritual darkness, of
knowledge over ignorance and right over wrong. It is a festive
restatement of the
Hindu belief that the good ultimately triumphs over
Diwali is celebrated in the honour of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
The religious significance of Deepavali varies regionally within
India, depending on the school of
Hindu philosophy, regional, legends,
Hindus across the world celebrate
Diwali in honor of the return of
Lord Rama, wife Sita, brother
Lakshmana and lord
Hanuman to Ayodhya
from exile of 14 years after
Rama defeated Ravana. To honor and
celebrate Lord Rama, Sita,
Hanuman returning from Sri
Lanka and to illuminate their path, villagers light
Diyas to celebrate
the triumph of good over evil. For some,
Diwali also celebrates
the return of
Pandavas after 12 years of
Vanvas and one year of
"Agyatavas" in Mahabharata. Furthermore, Deepavali is linked to the
celebration of Lakshmi, who is venerated amongst
Hindus as the goddess
of wealth and prosperity and is the wife of Lord Vishnu. The 5-day
Diwali begins on the day Goddess
Lakshmi was born from the
churning of cosmic ocean of milk by the Devas (gods) and the Asuras
(demons); while the night of
Diwali is the day
her husband and they were married. Along with Lakshmi,
devotees make offerings to Ganesha, who symbolizes ethical beginnings
and fearless remover of obstacles; Saraswati, who embodies music,
literature and learning and Kubera, who symbolizes book-keeping,
treasury and wealth management. Other
Hindus believe that Diwali
is the day
Vishnu came back to
Lakshmi and their abode in the
Vaikuntha; so those who worship
Lakshmi receive the benefit of her
good mood, and therefore are blessed with mental, physical and
material wellbeing during the year ahead.
Hindus in India's eastern region, such as
Odisha and West Bengal,
worship the goddess
Kali instead of Lakshmi, and call the festival
Kali Puja. In India's
Braj and north central regions, the god
Krishna is recognized. People mark Mount Govardhan, and celebrate
legends about Krishna. In other regions, the feast of
(or Annakoot) is celebrated, with 56 or 108 different cuisines
prepared, offered to Krishna, then shared and celebrated by the local
In West and certain Northern parts of India, the festival of Diwali
marks the start of a new
Main article: Bandi Chhor Divas
Sikhs marks the Bandi Chhor Divas, when Guru Har Gobind
freed himself and some
Hindu Rajahs, from the Gwalior Fort, from the
prison of the Mughal emperor, Jahangir, and arrived at the Golden
Temple in Amritsar. Ever since then,
Sikhs celebrate Bandi Choorh
Divas, with the annual lighting up of Golden Temple, fireworks and
other festivities. In the post-
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh era, Sarbat Khalsa
used to meet on
Baisakhi to discuss important issues
Diwali has special significance in Jainism. Mahavira, the last of the
Tirthankar of this era, attained
Nirvana on this day at Pavapuri on 15
October 527 BCE, on Kartik
Krishna Amavasya. According to the
Acharya Bhadrabahu, 3rd century BC, many gods were
present there, illuminating the darkness. Therefore, Jains
Diwali as a day of remembering Mahavira. On
Nirvan Ladoo is offered after praying to
Mahavira in all Jain temples
all across the world. Gautam Gandhar Swami, the chief disciple of
Mahavira achieved omniscience(Kevala Gyan) later the same
Newar people in Nepal, who are Buddhist and revere various deities
Vajrayana tradition, celebrate the festival by worshipping
Newar Buddhists in Nepalese valleys celebrate the
Diwali festival over five days, in the same way and on the same days
Hindu Diwali-Tihar festival. According to some scholars,
this traditional celebration by
Newar Buddhists in Nepal, involving
Vishnu during Diwali, reflects the freedom granted in the
Mahayana Buddhism tradition to worship any deity for their worldly
Description and rituals
Diwali is a five-day festival in many regions of India, with Diwali
night centering on the new moon – the darkest night – at the end
Hindu lunar month of
Ashvin and the start of the month of
Kartika. In the Common Era calendar,
Diwali typically falls towards
the end of October, or first half of November each year. The darkest
night of autumn lit with diyas, candles and lanterns, makes the
festival of lights particularly memorable.
Diwali is also a
festival of sounds and sights with fireworks and rangoli designs; the
festival is a major celebration of flavors with feasts and numerous
mithai (sweets, desserts), as well as a festival of emotions where
Diwali ritually brings family and friends together every year.
Rituals and preparations for
Diwali begin days or weeks in advance.
The festival formally begins two days before the night of Diwali, and
ends two days thereafter. Each day has the following rituals and
Lighting candle and clay lamp in their house and at temples during
Dhanteras (Day 1)
Main article: Dhanteras
Dhanteras or Dhanatrayodashi (celebrated in Northern and Western part
of India) starts off the five day festival. Starting days before and
through Dhanteras, houses and business premises are cleaned, renovated
and decorated. Women and children decorate entrances with
creative colourful floor designs both inside and in the walkways of
their homes or offices. Boys and men get busy with external lighting
arrangements and completing all renovation work in progress. For some,
the day celebrates the churning of cosmic ocean of milk between the
forces of good and forces of evil; this day marks the birthday of
Lakshmi – the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, and the birthday of
Dhanvantari – the God of Health and Healing. On the night of
Dhanteras, diyas (lamps) are ritually kept burning all through the
nights in honor of
Lakshmi and Dhanvantari.
Dhanteras is also a major shopping day, particularly for gold or
silver articles. Merchants, traders and retailers stock up, put
articles on sale, and prepare for this day.
Lakshmi Puja is performed
in the evening. Some people decorate their shops, work place or items
symbolizing their source of sustenance and prosperity.[citation
Naraka Chaturdasi (Day 2)
Main article: Naraka Chaturdashi
Narak Chaturdasi is the second day of festivities, and is also called
Choti Diwali. The
Hindu literature narrates that the asura (demon)
Narakasura was killed on this day by Krishna,
Satyabhama and Kali. The
day is celebrated by early morning religious rituals and festivities
followed on. This day is commonly celebrated as
Diwali in Tamil Nadu,
Goa and Karnataka. Typically, house decoration and colourful floor
patterns called rangoli are made on or before Narak Chaturdasi.
Special bathing rituals such as a fragrant oil bath are held in some
regions, followed by minor pujas. Women decorate their hands with
henna designs. Families are also busy preparing homemade sweets for
Lakshmi Puja (Day 3)
Sweets mithai (dessert) are popular across
India for Diwali
The third day is the main festive day. People wear new clothes or
their best outfits as the evening approaches. Then diyas are lit,
pujas are offered to Lakshmi, and to one or more additional deities
depending on the region of India; typically Ganesha, Saraswati, and
Lakshmi symbolises wealth and prosperity, and her
blessings are invoked for a good year ahead.
Lakshmi is believed to roam the earth on
Diwali night. On the evening
of Diwali, people open their doors and windows to welcome Lakshmi, and
place diya lights on their windowsills and balcony ledges to invite
her in. On this day, the mothers who work hard all year, are
recognized by the family and she is seen to embody a part of Lakshmi,
the good fortune and prosperity of the household. Small
earthenware lamps filled with oil are lighted and placed in rows by
Hindus along the parapets of temples and houses. Some set diyas
adrift on rivers and streams. Important relationships and friendships
are also recognized during the day, by visiting relatives and friends,
exchanging gifts and sweets.
After the puja, people go outside and celebrate by lighting up patakhe
(fireworks). The children enjoy sparklers and variety of small
fireworks, while adults enjoy playing with ground chakra, Vishnu
chakra, flowerpots (anaar), sutli bomb, chocolate bomb, rockets and
bigger fireworks. The fireworks signify celebration of
well a way to chase away evil spirits. After fireworks, people
head back to a family feast, conversations and mithai (sweets,
Balipratipada (Day 4)
Main article: Balipratipada
The day after Diwali, is celebrated as Padwa. This day ritually
celebrates the love and mutual devotion between the wife and
husband. The husbands give thoughtful gifts, or elaborate ones to
respective spouses. In many regions, newly married daughters with
their husbands are invited for special meals. Sometimes brothers go
and pick up their sisters from their in-laws home for this important
day. The day is also a special day for the married couple, in a manner
similar to anniversaries elsewhere in the world. The day after Diwali
devotees perform Goverdhan puja in honor of Lord Krishna.
Diwali also marks the beginning of new year, in some parts of India,
Vikram Samvat calendar is popular. Merchants and
shopkeepers close out their old year, and start a new fiscal year with
Lakshmi and other deities.
Bhai Duj, Bhaiya Dooji (Day 5)
Main article: Bhau-beej
The last day of the festival is called Bhai dooj (Brother's second) or
Bhai tika in Nepal, where it is the major day of the festival. It
celebrates the sister-brother loving relationship, in a spirit similar
Raksha Bandhan but with different rituals. The day ritually
emphasizes the love and lifelong bond between siblings. It is a day
when women and girls get together, perform a puja with prayers for the
well being of their brothers, then return to a ritual of food-sharing,
gift-giving and conversations. In historic times, this was a day in
autumn when brothers would travel to meet their sisters, or bring over
their sister's family to their village homes to celebrate their
sister-brother bond with the bounty of seasonal harvests.
Festival of lights
Traditional Earthen Lamp
Diwali means the row(avali) of clay lamps(deepas) which
symbolizes the lighting that protect us from spiritual darkness,
achieving knowledge from ignorance, love from hatred. They
decorate their entire home with oil lamps, earthen lamps, candles,
lights throughout the day into the night to prevent darkness and evil.
The first thing that strikes our mind is crackers, lightings, colours
in the dark new moon night sky.
Festival of peace
On this festive occasion, Hindu, Jain and
Sikh communities also mark
charitable causes, kindness, and for peace. For example, at the
international border, every year on Diwali, Indian forces approach
Pakistani forces and offer traditional Indian sweets on the occasion
of Diwali. The Pakistani soldiers anticipating the gesture, return the
goodwill with an assortment of Pakistani sweets.
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help
improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2017)
(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
New Year celebrations
See also: New Year
New Year is celebrated on the day of the festival of
Diwali, which is the last day
Ashvin month and also
last day of the
Ashvin month of
New Year is celebrated the day after the festival of
Diwali (which occurs in mid-fall – either October or November,
depending on the Lunar calendar). The Gujarati
New Year is synonymous
with sud ekam i.e. first day of
Shukla paksha of the Kartik month -,
which is taken as the first day of the first month of Gujarati lunar
Hindus from other regions of
India celebrate the
New Year in
the spring,either on the first day of lunar month of Chaitra or the
first day of the solar month of Baishakh. Gujarati community all over
the world celebrates the
New Year after
Diwali to mark the beginning
of a new fiscal year.
Nepal Era New year is celebrated by the ethnic Newari in the
Kathmandu valley. The new year occurs in the fourth day of Diwali. The
calendar was used as an official calendar until the mid 19th century.
Although, most Nepalese celebrate the traditional new year in April
Main article: Mela
To add to the festivals of Diwali, fairs are held throughout
India. Melas are found in many towns and villages. A mela
generally becomes a market day in the countryside when farmers buy and
sell produce, and rural families shop for clothes, utensils and other
products. Girls and women dress attractively during the festival. They
wear colourful clothing and new jewelry, and their hands are decorated
with henna designs.
Among the many activities that take place at a fairs are performances
by jugglers, acrobats, snake charmers and fortune tellers. Food stalls
are set up, selling sweet and spicy foods. There are a variety of
rides at the fair, which include Ferris wheels and rides on animals
such as elephants and camels. Activities for children, such as puppet
shows, occur throughout the day.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
Diwali fireworks are celebrated near homes, in streets and as
community events. Phuljhari (sparklers) are popular with some
Diwali is celebrated in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on the same day
as central, east, west and north India, and the festivities center
over two days observed as state holidays – Naraka Chaturthasi and
Deepavali Amaavasya (Diwali). The festivities start out at the
crack of dawn and carry on well into the night. Most people make a
trip to the local temple along with their families to seek the
blessings of their respective gods. The night sky is lit up with a
scintillating array of noisy fireworks.
Crackers at Diwali
Diwali is one of the seven most important festivals of Telangana and
Andhra Pradesh and mainly it is celebrated with name Deepavali. It is
very popular with children who celebrate
Diwali because of the
excitement of bursting firecrackers.
Special shops to sell
firecrackers are set up in all towns, cities and bigger villages. Some
areas host local stage story telling called Hari Katha. Some areas may
put a huge
Narakasura dummy made with fireworks. This will be burst by
a person dressed as Lord
Krishna or, more accurately, a costume of
Satyabhama, the consort of Lord Krishna, who actually killed the demon
Narakasura; an event that is celebrated as
Diwali for generations. The
evening sky of
Diwali is a colourful sight to watch.
People clean/white-wash or paint/decorate their homes as it is a very
auspicious day; to welcome the goddess of wealth and prosperity i.e.
Lakshmi devi to their homes. Homes are lit up with hundreds of diyas
and colourful diwali rangolis adorn the doorways. After all this
preparation all the members of the family perform the
Another custom involves decorating homes with paper figures.
Festivities cut across boundaries to move on from the small villages
to the big towns, often beginning almost a month before Diwali. Sales
of expensive silk saris, jewellery, ornaments, and household goods
increase. From the poor to the rich, everyone indulges in the largest
shopping spree of the year. Sweets, which are an integral part of any
festival in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, are prepared or purchased
from shops. The festival is full of messages depicting one or more
aspects of human life, relationships, and ancient traditions.
Puranas it was said that, Goddess
Durga had taken rest at
Vijayawada and the place is named as Indrakeeladri. Deepawali is
celebrated with a great joy in Vijayawada. Lighting effect at Prakasam
Barrage adds further tourist attraction.
Goa and Konkan
Diwali begins in Konkan and
Goa on the day of Naraka Chaturdashi. The
houses are cleaned and decorated with kandeel (known as akashdivo in
Konkani), lamps, mango leaves, and marigold flowers. The utensils are
made to shine, filled with water, and decorated for the holy bath the
following morning. On the eve of Naraka Charurdashi, paper-made
effigies of Narakasura, filled with grass and firecrackers symbolizing
evil, are made. These effigies are burnt at around four o'clock in the
morning. Firecrackers are burst, and people return home to take a
scented oil bath. Lamps are lit in a line. The women of the house
perform aarti of the men, gifts are exchanged, a bitter berry called
kareet is crushed under the feet in token of killing Narkasur,
symbolising evil and removal of ignorance. Different varieties of poha
and sweets are made and eaten with family and friends. Festivities
Tulsi Vivah and lamps are lit every evening.
Lakshmi puja on the
Krishna puja or
Govardhan puja and cattle worship on
Balipratipada day, Bhaubeej, and
Diwali in Gujarat
Rangoli decoration in Gujarat
Diwali celebrations take on a number of distinct
Diwali occurs in the second (dark) lunar fortnight (
Krishna Paksha) of
the month of
Ashvin (Gujarati: "Aaso") and the first (bright)
fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of Kartika (Guj: "Kartik"). Aaso is the last
month of the Gujarati calendar, and Kartik the first.
Celebrations start earlier in
Gujarat than in the rest of India,
commencing on Agyaras, the 11th day of the
Paksha of Aaso. On
the 12th day is Vagh Baras, the festival of the cow and the calf. On
the 13th day is Dhanteras, the days
Diwali starts in the rest of
India. The 14th (elsewhere known as
Naraka Chaturdashi in South India
Diwali in the North) is celebrated as
Kali Choudas. The 15th
(new moon day) is
Lakshmi Puja, celebrated throughout India. The next
day, the first day of Shukla
Paksha of Kartik, is Bestu Varsh, New
Year's Day, start of the Gujarati calendar. The 2nd day of Kartik is
Bhai Bij, the day
Diwali ends. A further celebration takes place on
the 5th day of Kartik, Labh Pancham.
Diwali Decoration at
Bangalore Shopping Mall
Deepavali is celebrated as a five-day festival in Karnataka, with the
third and fourth day called Thali Deepavali (concurs with Diwali,
South India date) and Balipadyami Deepavali (the day after)
respectively. The Balipadyami is also a state holiday in
Known as Deepavali (ದೀಪಾವಳಿ) in Karnataka, it is
celebrated on the day before and day following Amavasye (New Moon Day)
Naraka Chaturdashi (before new-moon day) resembling Satyabhama's
Narakasura and as
Bali Padyami the first day of Kartika
masa in remembrance of King Bali. The entire house is cleaned and new
clothes are purchased for the entire family which is followed by
lighting of oil lamps around the house and bursting firecrackers. The
tradition in Kannada families is that all members gather together for
the three days celebration. The thirteenth day of the
is celebrated as "neeru tumbo habba" when the house is cleaned,
painted afresh and the vessels are washed, bedecked and filled with
fresh water for the festival. The next day is Naraka Chaturdashi,
considered very auspicious. In parts of North Karnataka, the women of
the house perform
Aarti on the men. The next day is
on Amavaasye (new-moon day). On the fourth day, the house, especially
the entrance, is decorated with flowers and floor decorations to
Bali into their homes and do pooja. A special entrance to
the home is built, made out of cow-dung (gOmaya) and Sandalwood
(siri-chandana). Both materials are revered in Kannada tradition as
having divine significance. The day is of special importance to
agricultural families as they celebrate
Govardhan Pooja on this
day. The houses are adorned with Keraka (replica of
the Govardhana giri using cow dung) bejewelled with flowers and maize,
ragi stalks. Fire-camps are kindled on both
Naraka Chaturdashi and
Bali Padyami days of Deepavali. The celebration of Deepavali is marked
by the lighting of lamps in every courtyard and the bursting of
firecrackers. Ravtegh is a special Deepavali delicacy in Bangalore
region. Holiges and Chakkulis are prepared in all households.[citation
Diwali or popularly known locally as Deepavali, falls on the preceding
day of the New Moon in the Malayalam month Thulam
(October–November). The celebrations are based on the legend of
Narakasura Vadha – where Sri
Krishna destroyed the demon and the day
Narakasura died is celebrated as Deepavali. It commemorates the
triumph of good over evil. The story of King
Bali is also associated
Hindus in Kerala.
Diwali start before the festival with people
preparing sweets and savory snacks collectively called 'Faral'. The
snacks include Chakali, Laddu, Karanji, Chiwada and other festive
Diwali starts from Vasubaras which is the 12th day of
the 2nd half of the Marathi month Ashvin. This day is celebrated by
Aarti of the cow and its calf – which is a symbol of
love between mother and her baby.
The next day is Dhana Trayodashi. Traders and business people give
special importance to this festival. It is also considered an
auspicious day for making important purchases, especially metals,
including kitchenware and precious metals like silver and gold.
Homes, such as above, and buildings are decorated with festive lights
This is followed by Naraka Chaturdashi. On this day people get up
early in the morning and take their bath before sunrise while stars
are still visible. Bathing is an elaborate process on this day with
abundant use of utnas, oils and perfumes, and is preceded by an Aarti.
The day after
Naraka Chaturdashi comes Lakshmi-pooja. It occurs on
Amavasya i.e. no moon day. The dark night is illuminated by lamps and
at dusk firecrackers are burst. New account books are opened after a
pooja. Generally the traders do not make any payments on that day to
Lakshmi in home. In every household, cash, jewellery and an
idol of the goddess
Lakshmi is worshipped. Friends, neighbours and
relatives are invited over and celebrations are in full swing.
Bali Pratipada is the 1st day of Kartik in the
Hindu calendar. It
marks the start of
Hindu financial year. It is a special day for
Husband and wife. The wife puts tilak on her husbands forehead and he
gives her an expensive gift. In recent times there is a growing trend
of organising a cultural event called
Diwali Padwa early in the
Bhau-beej – it is the time when the bond of love between a brother
and sister is further strengthened. The sister asks God for her
brother's(s') long and successful life while she receives presents
from her beloved brothers.
In Odisha, the festival is known as Deepavali (Odia:
ଦୀପାବଳୀ). The festival day starts with drawing rangolis
in front of the house. The rangoli is drawn in the shape of sailboat
on the ground in front of the house and is filled with items such as
cotton, salt, mustard, asparagus root, turmeric and a wild creeper.
Prasad is placed in the central chamber, over which a deepa of a jute
stem with cloth wick is lit. This marks the beginning of Puja.
Tarpanam – the ritual meant to invoke the spirits of the ancestors.
Immediately after the dusk, all members of household gather for
lighting Kaunria (pith of the jute plant). A lighted lamp is placed
inside an earthen pot that is tied to a pole erected in front of the
house. All the members then hold a bunch of jute stick in their hands
and light them from the fire from the main deepa and raise the bunch
towards the sky chanting the following verse. Then, in the presence of
every member of the house, a bundle of the Kaunria is lit during the
Puja and raised skywards accompanied with the chant: "Badbadua ho
andhaara re aasa aalua re jaa" meaning "O' forefathers come in the
dark of the evening, we light your way to the heaven". The
significance of the ritual is that we show respect to our ancestors
who reinforce their absence from the physical world by our presence.
Diwali in EA mall, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Known as Deepavali (தீபாவளி) in Tamil Nadu, it
commemorates the death of
Narakasura at the hands of Lord Sri Krishna.
It is believed that Narakasura, a malevolent demon, tortured common
people and they prayed to lord
Krishna to defeat him. The people then
celebrated Narakasura's defeat with sparklers, lights and
firecrackers. This celebration has continued down the generations as
Deepavali. In Tamil Nadu, Deepavali falls on the 14th day preceding
the amavasya (new moon) in the solar month of Aippasi
(ஐப்பசி).[better source needed] The day
begins with an early morning oil bath, wearing new clothes, bursting
of firecrackers, visiting Lord Ganesha, Lord
The exchange of sweets between neighbours, visiting relations, and
preparing Deepavali special sweets are traditions of the day.
Typical Deepavali celebrations begin with waking up early in the
morning, before sun rise, followed by an oil-bath. The bathing
tradition involves extensive massaging of warm sesame oil containing
black pepper corns and betel leaves. After bath, a home-made
medicine known as "Deepavali Lehiyam" is consumed, which is
supposed to aid in soothing digestive problems that may ensue because
of feasting that occurs later in the day. Sparklers, firecrackers and
lights are used extensively, much like the rest of the world where
Deepavali is celebrated.
Tamil Nadu always celebrates Deepavali on the
Naraka Chaturdashi preceding new moon in the month of aippasi.
In Tamil Nadu, Deepavali is calculated when chaturdashi prevails
during sunrise, precisely at 4am-6am. If chaturdashi prevails after
6am it is not considered. For example, if chaturdashi tithi begins at
2:30 pm the preceding day and ends at 1pm next day, the next day will
be celebrated as Deepavali. Unlike much of the rest of India, lamps
are not lit on Deepavali in Tamil Nadu. Instead, lamps are lit on the
Karthikai Deepam, in the Tamil solar month of Karthikai. Also
lakshmi puja is not very important. Most important Deepavali ritual is
"Kedara gowri vratam" also known as"nombu"(நோன்பு) which
would be done by most families on amavasya day. Some families do it on
Diwali is the most important festival in this state and is celebrated
with great vigor and gaiety.
Diwali is celebrated in memory of Lord
Rama's victory over the demon king
Ravana and his subsequent
Ayodhya after 14 years in exile. People wear colourful
clothes throughout the
Diwali festival, and enthusiasm is visible over
the entire festival. The ghats of
Varanasi come alive with thousands
of brightly lit earthen lamps. Visitors throng in large numbers to
watch this. Fairs and art festivals are held in the state, a venue for
fun and shopping. Other celebrations, such as puja, fireworks, sweets
and gifts exchange are similar to the rest of India.
celebrated with pomp and antiquity in Uttar Pradesh. It is celebrated
as the Festival of Lights. The festival is celebrated with great
enthusiasm the children and the old.
Diwali Aakash Kandil
Rangoli with Light
In this region,
Diwali marks the killing of Narakasura: Celebrated
as Naraka Chaturdashi, one day before Diwali, it commemorates the
killing of the evil demon Narakasura, who wreaked havoc. In different
Krishna or Krishna's wife
Narakasura during the Dwapara yuga. The festival is celebrated over
six days. It starts with Govatsa Dwadashi. Go means cow and vatsa
means calf. Dwadashi means the 12th day. The story associated with
this day is that of King Prithu, son of the tyrant King Vena. Because
of the ill rule of Vena, there was a terrible famine and earth stopped
Prithu chased the earth, who is usually represented as
cow, and ‘milked’ her, meaning that he brought prosperity to the
land. On second day, people shop for utensils, clothes, gold and other
items. The third day is called Chaturdashi, the day on which the demon
Narakasura was killed by
Krishna – an incarnation of Vishnu. It
signifies the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. The
day is celebrated with puja, fireworks, and feast. The fourth day, is
Diwali night, celebrated like rest of India. The fifth day is
Govardhan Puja, celebrated as the day
Indra by the
Govardhana hill to save his kinsmen and cattle from rain
and floods. Symbolic mountains of food are prepared representing the
Govardhan hill lifted by Krishna, then shared in the community. The
last day is Yama Dwitiya where brothers and sisters meet to mark their
bond, love and affection for each other. If sister is married and
lives in a distant area, the brothers typically visit their sisters’
place on this day and usually have a meal there. The brothers also
bring and give gifts to their sisters.
Bihar & Assam
Kali Puja is light-up night for West Bengal, Mithila region of Bihar
Kali Puja coincides with the festival of
Dipaboli in Bengali), (in Maithili, it is known as Diya-Baati) where
people light diyas/candles in memory of the souls of departed
ancestors. The goddess
Kali is worshipped, not Lakshmi, for whole
night on one night during this festival. The festival is popularly
Kali puja, not Diwali.
Kali puja is also known by the names of
Shyama puja or Nisha puja in parts of the Mithila region and West
Bengal. Many people also celebrate this festival by lighting earthen
lamps (deeps) which is a significance of Lord ram winning over the
Deepavali is celebrated around the world, particularly in countries
with significant populations of Hindu,
Newar Buddhist, Jain and Sikh
origin. These include Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar,
Bhutan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New
Zealand, Fiji, Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Guyana,
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago and other the
Caribbean nations, the
Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United
States. With more understanding of Indian culture and global migration
of people of Indian origin, the number of countries where
Diwali/Deepavali is celebrated has been gradually increasing. While in
some countries it is celebrated mainly by Indian expatriates, in
others it is becoming part of the general local culture. In most of
Diwali is celebrated on the same lines as described in
this article with some minor variations.
It is an official holiday in Fiji, Guyana, India, Malaysia
(except Sarawak), Mauritius, Myanmar,
Tihar), Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Trinidad and
Diwali fireworks in Melbourne
Diwali is celebrated publicly among the people of Indian
origin and the local Australians in
Brisbane and Melbourne.
Federation Square has been embraced warmly by the mainstream Victorian
population beginning in 2006. The event has now
become a part of the
Melbourne Arts calendar and is celebrated over a
week in the city.
Over 56,000 people had visited the Federation square
on the last day of the festival last year and had enjoyed the
entertaining live music and traditional dances of India, art and
crafts as well as the variety of Indian cuisines with the festival
culminating in a spectacular fireworks display on the Yarra River.
Many iconic buildings in
Melbourne including the Victorian Parliament,
Melbourne Museum, Federation Square,
Melbourne Airport and the Indian
Consulate are decorated over this week. Along with this, many outdoor
dance performances and super banners immerse the city in
in the City and
Melbourne Airport. The
Diwali event regularly attracts
national organizations like AFL, Cricket Australia, White Ribbon,
Melbourne Airport and artists from other communities and India. In
Sydney Opera House has been annually lit up gold to
celebrate the festival since 2014.
Diwali celebrations are held annually in the city's
Brisbane which is known for its pan-Asian atmosphere.
On the Australian external territory of
Christmas Island, Deepavali is
celebrated alongside many other celebrations common in
Malaysia as well as local celebrations of the island.
The festival in the
Hindu culture of
Bali that celebrates the victory
of good (dharma) over evil (adharma), just like Deepavali, is called
Galungan. However, the dates and the ritual grammar are derived
from the Balinese calendar and culture.
Galungan marks the time when the ancestral spirits visit the Earth.
The last day of the celebration is Kuningan, when they return. The
date is calculated according to the 210-day Balinese calendar. The
Hindu religious ceremonies that are performed during this
ten-day festival period are generally considered to be the most
important ones of
Hindu Bali. During this period the followers of the
Dharma religion focus on the importance of living a
life based on dharma. The most obvious sign of the
celebrations are the penjor—bamboo poles with offerings suspended at
the end. These are installed by the side of roads.
Elsewhere, the Indian
Hindus of Tamil descent pray in observance of
Deepavali, at the Sri Mariamman temple in Medan, North Sumatra.
Hindus from other regions across
Indonesia traveled to
the temple to celebrate the holiday. The city government also give
a Deepavali as facultative holiday for Indian community in Medan.
In Trinidad and Tobago, communities all over the islands get together
and celebrate the festival. One major celebration that stands out is
Diwali Nagar, or Village of the Festival of Lights, located in
Chaguanas, Trinidad. It features stage performances by the east Indian
cultural practitioners, a folk theatre featuring skits and plays, an
exhibition on some aspect of Hinduism, displays by
sects and social organisations, nightly worship of Lakshmi, lighting
of deeyas, performances by schools related to Indian culture, and a
food court with Indian and non-Indian vegetarian delicacies. Thousands
of people participate in the island wide festivities. Sports grounds,
schools and other public locations such as parks, host Deepavali
Celebrations. Deepavali celebrations begin with
Lakshmi Pooja and
continue with lighting diyas and singing, dancing and sharing meals.
The festival culminates with fireworks displays ushering in
In Fiji, Deepavali is a public holiday and is a
religious event celebrated together by
Hindus (who constitute close to
a third of Fiji's population), and culturally amongst members of
Fiji's races and is a time in the year that is greatly looked forward
to. Originally celebrated by imported indentured labourers from the
Indian subcontinent during British rule in the then Colony of Fiji
during the 19th century, it was set as a holiday at independence in
1970 as the government wished to set aside one religious public
holiday each for Fiji's three largest religions, i.e., Christianity,
Hinduism and Islam.
Fiji is often remarked by people from
India as being
observed on a larger scale than in India, as
fireworks and Deepavali related events begin at least a week before
the actual day. Another unique feature is the cultural celebration of
Deepavali (aside from its traditionally religious celebration) where
Fijians of Indian origin or Indo-Fijians, whether Hindu, Christian,
Sikh or even Muslim along with the other cultural groups in Fiji
celebrate Deepavali as a time for sharing with friends and family as
well as signalling the beginning of the Holiday season in Fiji. On the
commercial side, Deepavali is a time for many retail sales and
giveaways. Deepavali celebrations in
Fiji have taken on a flair of its
own, markedly different from celebrations on the Subcontinent.
Deepavali marks a time for cleaning and buying new and special clothes
for the celebrations amongst cultural groups along with dressing up in
Saris and other Indian clothing, to work the day before. Homes are
cleaned and Oil lamps or diyas are lit. Decorations are made around
the home with an array of coloured lights, candles and paper lanterns,
as well as the use of religious symbols formed out of coloured rice
and chalk. Invitations are made to family, friends and neighbours and
houses are opened. Gifts are made and prayers or pooja are made by
Hindus. Sweets and vegetable dishes are often eaten during this time
and fireworks are fired for days before and after Diwali.
Deepavali is a federal public holiday throughout Malaysia. In many
respects it resembles the traditions followed in the Indian
subcontinent. 'Open houses' are held where
Hindu Malaysians (of all
ethnic groups like Tamils, Telugus and Malayalees) welcome fellow
Malaysians of different races and religions to their house for a meal.
Malaysia has become an occasion for goodwill and friendly
ties between religious and ethnic groups in Malaysia. On Deepavali
Hindus dress up in new clothes, light up diyas (lamps and
candles )inside and outside their home, participate in family puja
(prayers) typically to Lakshmi.
Deepavali is an official public holiday in Mauritius. About a week
before Deepavali, many offices, supermarkets and other public
buildings are adorned with lights and so are the homes of the people
who celebrate this festival. People prepare sweets at home, such as
Burfi, ladoo and other Indian inspired sweets, and distribute them to
friends and family. Fireworks are lit on this day and prayers are made
with special remembrance of Lord Rama, Lord Laxmi and other Hindu
Main article: Tihar (festival)
Deepavali is known as "Tihar" or "Swanti". It is celebrated over the
same five day period concurrent with Deepavali in India. The
traditions vary from those followed in India. On the first day (Kaag
tihar), crows are given offerings, considering them to be divine
messengers. On the second day (Kukur tihar), dogs are given food for
their honesty. After Kaag and Kukur Tihar, Gai Tihar and Goru Tihar is
celebrated on the third day, where cow and ox are decorated and
fed. Also on the third day, Laxmi puja is performed. This is the
last day of the year according to
Nepal Sambat, so many of the
businessmen clear their accounts on this day and on finishing it,
worship goddess Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. Days before the Laxmi
puja, houses are cleaned and decorated; on the day of Laxmi puja, oil
lamps are lit near doors and windows. The fourth day is celebrated as
new year. Cultural processions and other celebrations are observed in
this day. The Newars celebrate it as "Mha Puja", a special ritual in
which the body is worshipped to keep it fit and healthy for the year
ahead on this day. On the fifth and final day called "Bhai Tika",
brothers and sisters meet, garland each other, pray for the other's
well being, mark the other's forehead with Tika. The brothers give
gifts to their sisters, and sisters feed their brothers.
In Nepal, family gathering is more significant during Tihar. People in
the community play "
Deusi and Bhailo" which is a kind of singing and
dancing forming a group. People go to all the houses in the community
and play songs and dance, and give blessings to the visited house,
whereas the home owner gives gifts like rice, SelRoti, fruits and
money. After the festival, people donate some part of the collected
money and food to the charity or welfare groups and with the rest of
the money and food, they go for a picnic. People also play swing
called Dore Ping made out of thick ropes and Pirke Ping or Rangate
Ping made out of wood.
Among Nepali people, after
Lakshmi Puja, young girls assemble in
groups of four to ten members on Diwali. They sing/dance and play
Bhailo in each village, one by one.The head of the family of each
house they visit gives them dakshani as a token. They play until
Bhaitika (Bhaiduj). Similarly boys play Deusi.
Diwali is rejoicingly
celebrated during these days.
In New Zealand, Deepavali is celebrated publicly among many of the
South Asian diaspora cultural groups. A large group that celebrates
New Zealand are members of the Indo-Fijian communities who
have migrated and settled there. There are main public festivals in
Auckland and Wellington, with other events around the country becoming
more popular and visible. An official reception has been held at the
New Zealand Parliament since 2003.
Diwali is celebrated by Hindus.
The festival signifies the triumph of light over darkness, justice
over injustice, good over evil and intelligence over ignorance.
Lakshmi Mata is worshiped.
Lakshmi Mata is the goddess of light,
wealth and beauty.
Special Divali foods are barfi and Prasad.
Diwali was not a public holiday in
Pakistan from 1947 to 2016. Diwali
Holi for Hindus, and Easter for Christians, was adopted as
public holiday resolution by Pakistan's parliament in 2016, giving the
local governments and public institutions the right to declare
a holiday and grant leave for its minority communities, for the first
Diwali celebrations have been relatively rare in
contemporary Pakistan, but observed across religious lines, including
by Muslims in cities such as Peshawar.
In Réunion, one quarter of its population are of Indian origin and
Deepavali is celebrated by the Hindus.
Diwali decorations in Little
India is an annual celebration for Hindus
Deepavali is a gazetted public holiday. Observed primarily by the
minority Indian community (Tamils), it is typically marked by a
light-up in the Little
India district, the heart of the Indian
community. Apart from the light-up, other activities such as bazaars,
exhibitions, parades and concerts will also take place in Little
Hindu Endowment Board of
Singapore along with Singapore's
government organizes many of these cultural events during this festive
Diwali celebrations by Tamil
Hindus in Sri Lanka
This festival, a public holiday in the island nation, is also called
"Deepavali" and is celebrated by the Tamil community. On this day, it
is traditional for people to take an oil bath in the morning, wear new
clothes, exchange gifts, performing Poosai (Pūjā), and a visit to
Hindu temple) is normal.[note 1] Burning of firecrackers in
the evening of the festival is a common practice of this festival.
Hindus light oil lamps to invite the blessings of Lakshmi, the goddess
of wealth and to banish any evil from the household for once and for
all. The festival is marked by illumination, making of toys of enamel
and making of figures out of crystal sugar popularly known as Misiri.
Sri Lanka's celebration include many of the traditional aspects of
Deepavali such as games, fireworks, singing and dancing; however, the
tradition of a large meal, family reunions and fireworks are admirably
Diwali decorations in Leicester, United Kingdom
In Britain, Indians celebrate
Diwali with great enthusiasm. People
clean and decorate their homes with lamps and candles. A popular type
of candle is a diya. People also give each other sweets such as laddoo
and barfi, and the different communities may gather for a religious
ceremony and get-together. It is also an important time to contact
India and perhaps exchange gifts.
The festival of Deepavali has begun to find acceptance in the broader
British national consciousness as more non-
Hindus appreciate and
Hinduism on this occasion.
Hindus celebrate all over the UK
which also brings an understanding to different cultures for the rest
of the community. Over the past decade national and civic
leaders such as
Prince Charles have attended
Diwali celebrations at
some of the UK's prominent
Hindu temples, such as the Swaminarayan
Temple in Neasden, using the occasion to commend the
contributions to British life. Since 2009,
been celebrated every year at 10 Downing Street, the residence of the
British Prime Minister. The yearly celebration, begun by Gordon
Brown and continued by David Cameron, is one of the most anticipated
events hosted by the British Prime Minister.
Leicester plays host to some of the biggest
outside of India.
Several cities in the
United States organize
Diwali events and
celebrations. Above: an event at San Antonio, Texas.
There are about three million
Hindus in the United States. Diwali
was first celebrated in the
White House by
George W. Bush
George W. Bush in 2003 and
was given official status by the
United States Congress in
Barack Obama became the first president to personally
Diwali at the
White House in 2009. On the eve of his first
India as the president of United States, Obama released an
official statement sharing best wishes with "those celebrating
Cowboys Stadium boasted an attendance of 100,000
people in 2009. In 2009,
San Antonio became the first U.S. city to
sponsor an official
Diwali celebration including a fireworks display;
in 2012, over 15,000 people attended. In 2011,
The Pierre in New
York City, now operated by Tata Group's Taj Hotels, hosted its first
A number of school districts across the US have adopted
Diwali as an
official school holiday (as "professional development" or "weather"
New York: East Meadow School District, East Williston Union Free
School District, Half Hollow Hills Central School District, Herricks
Union Free School District, Hicksville Union Free School District,
Jericho School District, and Syosset Central School District
New Jersey: Glen Rock School District, Millburn School District, West
Windsor-Plainsboro School District, Piscataway School District,
Passaic City School District, Edison Township, and South Brunswick
Others: Unionville-Chadds Ford School District (PA), Harvard Public
Schools (MA), and Howard County District (MD). However, Coppell School
District (TX) rejected a simialr request in 2017.
In 2016 –
Diwali was commemorated for the first time at the United
Nations in New York City.
United States Postal Service issued a
Diwali postage stamp on 5
Economics of Diwali
Diwali marks a major shopping period in India. In terms of
consumer purchases and economic activity, Deepavali is the equivalent
Christmas in the West or
Durga Puja in Bengal. It is traditionally
a time when households purchase new clothing, home refurbishments,
gifts, gold and other large purchases. The festival celebrates
Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and investment,
spending and purchases are considered auspicious.
a peak buying season for gold and jewelry in India. It is
also a major sweets, candy and fireworks buying season. At retail
level, about US$800 million (INR 5,000 crores) worth of firecrackers
are consumed in
India over the
There has been growing concern and questions on the environmental and
health impact of Diwali, as with other major festivals of the world.
According to a study done by Barman et al. in
Lucknow India, the
amount of fine (PM2.5) particulates in the air can worsen following
firework celebrations, but not during it. High accumulations of
particulates produced from fireworks can remain suspended in the air
for around 24 hours after their use. Another study indicated that
ground-level ozone pollution is also generated by fireworks; their
dispersal and decay times is also about one day.
The main concern with
Diwali has been the excessive amount of crackers
being burst, which can lead to serious health issues, including
phlegm, lung cancer, asthma amongst many others. A study just before
Diwali in 2017 revealed that crackers like Anar, Fuljadi, Chakra etc.
are almost 200 times over the WHO standard of PM 2.5 Level. In
particular, the Snake Tablet cracker is 2,580 times over the WHO
limit. In the immediate aftermath of Diwali, there is always a
massive dip in air quality across most of India, especially
metropolitan cities like Mumbai and Delhi.
On 9 October 2017, the Supreme Court of
India banned the sale of
fireworks in Delhi, but not their use. The court acted on the
belief that banning festive use of fireworks would substantially
improve the air quality of Delhi. (2016
Diwali celebrations saw PM2.5
levels easily exceed 30 times the safe level.) Critics state that this
decision was a judicial overreach (as one could purchase their
fireworks outside of
Delhi instead) and that it is a bias against the
Hindu culture, while supporters state it will improve public
health. It had a somewhat positive impact, with the air quality
Delhi ranked as "very poor" by the CPCB, an improvement from 2016
when the air quality was ranked "severe".
See also: Fireworks safety
There is an increase in burn injuries from fireworks in
Diwali. A firework called anar (fountain) has been found to cause 65%
of the injuries. Adults are the typical victims. Newspapers advise
splashing cold water immediately after the burn, which along with
proper nursing of the wound helps reduce complications. Most burns are
Group I type burns (minor) requiring outpatient care.
Complaints from dog owners
Because the dog is one of the most common domesticated animals around
the world, some countries have gone to the liberty of banning festive
fireworks in private neighborhoods due to the provocation caused to
the dogs. Animal-rights organizations believe the sound of the
fireworks trigger the nervous-system in dogs, causing them to become
agitated and fearful as well as provoking continuous barking, which
the dogs' owners find incredibly disruptive to the peace in the
The prayers vary widely by region of India. An example vedic prayer
Upanishad celebrating lights
Asato ma sat gamaya (असतो मा सद्गमय ।)
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya (तमसो मा
Mṛtyor ma amṛtam gamaya (मृत्योर्मा
अमृतं गमय ।)
Om shanti shanti shantihi (ॐ शान्तिः
शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥)
From untruth lead us to Truth.
From darkness lead us to Light.
From death lead us to Immortality.
Om Peace, Peace, Peace.
Main article: List of
^ In Sri Lanka, this festival is largely celebrated by the Tamil
community scattered in different areas of the island but mostly
concentrated in the North and in the East.
^ Charles M Townsend, The Oxford Handbook of
Sikh Studies, Oxford
University Press, ISBN 978-0199699308, page 440
^ a b "Holiday calendar". National
Portal of India. Retrieved 27
^ "Public holidays". Ministry of Manpower, Singapore. Retrieved 16
^ a b The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998)
ISBN 0-19-861263-X – p.540 "
Diwali /dɪwɑːli/ (also Divali)
Hindu festival with lights...".
Diwali Encyclopædia Britannica (2009)
^ a b "Indian Government Holiday Calendar". National
Portal of India.
Retrieved 16 November 2016.
title=Jamaicans Experience Diwali]]
title= Celebration Of Indian-Ness In Jamaica
^ a b c Vasudha Narayanan; Deborah Heiligman (2008). Celebrate Diwali.
National Geographic Society. p. 31.
ISBN 978-1-4263-0291-6. , Quote: "All the stories associated
with Deepavali, however, speak of the joy connected with the victory
of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil".
^ a b c
Diwali – Celebrating the triumph of goodness
Tina K Ramnarine (2013). Musical Performance in the Diaspora.
Routledge. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-317-96956-3. , Quote:
"Light, in the form of candles and lamps, is a crucial part of Diwali,
representing the triumph of light over darkness, goodness over evil
and hope for the future."
^ a b Jean Mead, How and why Do
Hindus Celebrate Divali?,
^ a b Frank Salamone (2004), Encyclopedia of Religious Rites, Rituals
and Festivals, ISBN 978-0415880916, Routledge, pp 112–113, 174,
^ a b J Gordon Melton, Religious Celebrations: An Encyclopedia of
Holidays Festivals Solemn Observances and Spiritual Commemorations,
ISBN 978-1598842050, see Diwali, Constance Jones (2011),
ABC-CLIO, pp 252–255
^ Pramodkumar (March 2008). Meri Khoj Ek Bharat Ki.
ISBN 978-1-4357-1240-9. Retrieved 26 October 2011. It is
extremely important to keep the house spotlessly clean and pure on
Lakshmi likes cleanliness, and she will visit the
cleanest house first. Lamps are lit in the evening to welcome the
goddess. They are believed to light up her path.
^ Solski, Ruth (2008). Big Book of Canadian Celebrations. S&S
Learning Materials. ISBN 978-1-55035-849-0. Retrieved 26 October
2011. Fireworks and firecrackers are set off to chase away evil
spirits, so it is a very noisy holiday too.
^ a b
India Journal: ‘Tis the Season to be Shopping Devita Saraf,
The Wall Street Journal (August 2010)
^ Karen Bellenir (1997), Religious Holidays and Calendars: An
Encyclopedic Handbook, 2nd Edition, ISBN 978-0780802582,
^ Sharma, S.P.; Gupta, Seema (2006). Fairs and Festivals of India.
Pustak Mahal. p. 79. ISBN 978-81-223-0951-5.
^ Upadhye, A. N. (Jan–Mar 1982). Cohen, Richard J., ed. "Mahavira
and His Teachings". Journal of the American Oriental Society. American
Oriental Society. 102 (1): 231–232. doi:10.2307/601199.
^ Geoff Teece (2005). Sikhism. p. 23.
^ a b c d Todd T. Lewis. Popular Buddhist Texts from Nepal: Narratives
and Rituals of
Newar Buddhism. State University of New York Press.
pp. 118–119. ISBN 978-0-7914-9243-7.
^ a b Prem Saran (2012). Yoga, Bhoga and Ardhanariswara:
Individuality, Wellbeing and Gender in Tantra. Routledge. p. 175.
^ a b c d e f g h i j Pintchman, Tracy. Guests at God's Wedding:
Celebrating Kartik among the Women of Benares, pp. 59–65. State
University of New York Press, 2005. ISBN 0-7914-6596-9.
^ a b c d Deborah Heiligman, Celebrate Diwali,
ISBN 978-0-7922-5923-7, National Geographic Society, Washington,
^ a b c Lochtefeld, James G. "Diwali" in The Illustrated Encyclopedia
of Hinduism, Vol. 1: A–M, pp. 200–201. Rosen
Publishing. ISBN 9780823931798.
^ Lochtefeld, James G. "Kartik" in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of
Hinduism, Vol. 1: A–M, p. 355. Rosen Publishing.
Diwali – the season of Festivals Tarang (October 2003), page 4
Max Müller (Translator), The Upanishads, Katha Upanishad, p. 1, at
Google Books, Quote: "The wise prefers the good to the pleasant, but
the fool chooses the pleasant through greed and avarice. Wide apart
are these two, ignorance and wisdom. [...] What is called a treasure
is transient, for the eternal is not obtained by things which are not
eternal. The wise who, by means of meditation on his Self, recognizes
the Ancient, he indeed leaves (transient) joy and sorrow far behind.
[...] Beyond the senses there are the objects, beyond the objects
there is the mind, beyond the mind there is the intellect, the Self is
beyond the intellect. Beyond the Self is the Undeveloped, beyond the
Undeveloped is the Purusha. Beyond the
Purusha there is nothing, this
is the goal, the highest road. A wise man should keep down speech and
(impulses of) mind, he should keep them within the Self which is
^ a b BN Sharma, Festivals of India, South Asia Books,
ISBN 978-0836402834, pp. 9–35
^ Varadpande, Manohar Laxman (1987). History of Indian Theatre, Volume
1. Abhinav Publications. p. 159. ISBN 9788170172215.
^ R.N. Nandi (2009), in A Social History of Early
India (Editor: B.
Chattopadhyaya), Volume 2, Part 5, Pearson Education,
ISBN 978-8131719589, pp. 183–184
^ Dianne MacMillan (1997), Diwali:
Hindu Festival of Lights, Enslow
Publishers, ISBN 978-0894908170
^ a b c Suzanne Barchers (2013), The Big Book of Holidays and Cultural
Celebrations, Shell Education, ISBN 978-1425810481
^ Jean Mead, How and why Do
Hindus Celebrate Divali?,
ISBN 978-0-237-534-127, pages 8–12
^ a b Vasudha Narayanan; Deborah Heiligman (2008). Celebrate Diwali.
National Geographic. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-4263-0291-6.
Hinduism Today (2010)
^ Diwali, India's Festival of Light R.M. Hora, National Geographic
^ Thompson, Elizabeth Kelley (2013), Shouldn't Their Stories Be Told
In Their Voices: International Students’ Experiences of Adjustment
Following Arrival to the U.S., Master's Thesis, University of
^ Carol Plum-Ucci (2007), Celebrate Diwali, Enslow Publishers,
ISBN 978-0766027787, page 39-57
^ Darra Goldstein; Sidney Mintz; Michael Krondl; Laura Mason (2015).
The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. Oxford University Press.
pp. 222–223. ISBN 978-0-19-931339-6.
^ a b Pechilis, Karen (2007). "Guests at God's Wedding: Celebrating
Kartik among the Women of Benares". The Journal of Asian Studies. 66
(1): 273–5. doi:10.1017/S0021911807000460.
Diwali History Archived 10 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
Indian Express (2007)
^ BUCK, C. (2008), HINDU FESTIVALS, Festivals In Indian Society (2
Vols. Set), Vol 1, ISBN 81-8324-113-1
^ Holm, Jean (2006). "Growing Up in Hinduism". British Journal of
Religious Education. 6 (3): 116–20.
^ H. S. Singha (2000). The Encyclopedia of Sikhism (over 1000
Entries). Hemkunt Press. p. 62.
^ Jacobi, Hermann (1884). Sacred Books of the East. 22: Gaina Sutras
^ Jon Burbank (2002). Nepal. Marshall Cavendish. pp. 111–112.
^ Note: there are regional variations, which are explained in a
^ Diwali, the festival of lights Society for the Confluence of
^ Vera, Zak (February 2010). Invisible River: Sir Richard's Last
Mission. ISBN 978-1-4389-0020-9. Retrieved 26 October 2011. First
Diwali day called
Dhanteras or wealth worship. We perform
Laskshmi-Puja in evening when clay diyas lighted to drive away shadows
of evil spirits.
^ /www.indiaexpress.com/faith/festivals/dhistory.html Diwali
History[permanent dead link]
^ John Bowker, ed., Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Religions
(Oxford UP, 2000), See Festivals
^ Light up your day The
Hindu (28 October 2013)
^ Petrillo, Valerie (28 May 2007). Asian American History. Chicago
Review Press. ISBN 978-1-55652-634-3. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
There are firecrackers everywhere to scare off evil spirits and
contribute to the festive atmosphere.
^ DeRocco, David; Dundas, Joan; Ian Zimmerman (1996). The
International Holiday & Festival Primer. Full Blast Productions.
ISBN 978-1-895451-24-5. Retrieved 26 October 2011. But as well as
delighting the spectators, the fireworks are believed to chase away
Diwali - Festival of lights.
Diwali Lights up
India Today (3 November 2013)
^ Kadowala, Dilip (1998). Diwali. London: Evans Brothers Limited.
^ "Til oil bath marks Chhoti
Diwali celebrations". The Times of India.
3 November 2013.
^ Holidays for the State of Telangana and the State of Andhra Pradesh
Archived 27 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine., High Court, Hyderabad;
Diwali Celebrations in Andhra Pradesh
^ Sakhardande, Prajal (26 October 2008). "
Diwali and the Narkasur
Battle". The Navahind Times. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
Gujarat goes on standby mode in
Diwali week as holidays extended on
Gujarati New Year, Bhai Beej". Economic Times. 12 November 2012.
Retrieved 19 June 2013.
Diwali in Karnataka, DiwaliFestival.Org;
Diwali Celebration in
Karnataka, Festivals of India
^ "Government Of
Karnataka Holiday List 2016 – NIC Karnataka" (PDF)
(in Kannada and English). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20
November 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016. ;
Karnataka Government Holidays For 2016". Karnataka.com. 21 December
2015. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
^ M. G. S. Narayanan; K. K. N. Kurup (1976). Historical Studies in
Kerala. Department of History, University of Calicut. Retrieved 12
^ Deborah Heiligman, Celebrate Diwali, ISBN 978-1426302916,
National Geographic, page 31
Hindu Festival Of Lights Celebrated All Over The World
Nadine DeNinno, International Business Times (November 02 2013)
^ Haribhakt, Pandit Lalit Kumar. "Events Lead to Diwali
^ Public Holidays, Government of Fiji
^ Public Holidays, Guyana
^ Public Holidays, Government of Malaysia
^ a b Festivals, Government Holidays, Republic of Mauritius
^ Public Holidays, Government of Myanmar
^ Public Holidays, Government of Nepal
^ Public Gazetted Holidays, Government of Singapore
^ Official Public Holidays, Government of Trinidad & Tobago
Diwali Indian Festival of Light 2013 Federation Square,
Multicultural Festivals Melbourne,
Australia (October 26, 2013)
Retrieved 21 February 2016. Missing or empty title= (help)[dead
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 October 2015.
Retrieved 21 October 2015.
^ Robin Lim (2010). Indonesia. Lerner Publications. p. 47.
^ Apriadi Gunawan (2014).
Hindus pray for nation during Deepavali. The
^ Abul Muamar (2015). Government of
Medan set Deepavali as Facultative
Holiday. Tribun Medan.
Diwali event in Trinidad & Tobago". First Post. 25
October 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
^ a b c Tanka Bahadur Subba (1999), Politics of Culture: A Study of
Three Kirata Communities, Orient Longman, ISBN 978-8125016939,
^ Johnson, Henry; Figgins, Guil (2005). "
Transforming and Performing Indian Tradition in Aotearoa/New Zealand".
New Zealand Journal of Media Studies. 9 (1): 25–35.
Pakistan parliament adopts resolution for Holi, Diwali, Easter
holidays, The Times of
India (March 16, 2016)
Pakistan set to declare Holi,
Diwali and Easter as
public holidays Vasudevan Sridharan (2016), International Business
^ Muslims join
Diwali celebrations in Pakistan's Peshawar,
The Economic TImes (Nov 17 2015)
^ Himalayan Academy (November 1991). "Reunion
Hindus Try For a
Hinduism Today. Retrieved 2007-03-21.
^ Deepavali Decoration in
Singapore Little India, Singapore
^ Deepavali in
Singapore Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback
Machine. Little India,
Diwali celebrations draw large crowds"
BBC News (3
^ Roy, Amit (25 October 2011). "Dazzle at downing, colour at commons".
Mumbai Miday. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
^ "Transcript of the Prime Minister's
Diwali reception speech".
Gov.UK. Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 3 November
^ PTI (10 November 2007). "Prince Charles, Camilla celebrate
UK". Times of India. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
^ "Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of
Diwali at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London".
www.mandir.org. BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. Archived from the original
on 14 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
^ Thompson, Jessica Cargill. "Seven wonders of London: BAPS Shri
Hindu Mandir". Time Out London. Time Out Group. Retrieved
3 November 2013.
^ PTI (17 October 2009). "Brown celebrates
Diwali at 10, Downing
Street, in a 'historic' first". Times of India. Retrieved 3 November
^ Roy, Amit (25 October 2011). "Dazzle at downing, colour at commons".
Mumbai Miday. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
Diwali – The Festival of Light".
Leicester City Council.
^ "New Jersey
Hindus pained as no School Holiday for
Diwali in 2014".
news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
^ Sanchez, Aurelio (2 November 2007). "Fest celebrates triumph of
light over dark". The Albuquerque Journal. p. 10. According to a
resolution passed recently by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the
House of Representatives, the festival is celebrated by almost 2
million in the
United States and many millions more around the world.
The bill, H.R. 747, calls for the U.S. Congress to acknowledge 'the
religious and historical significance of the festival of
^ "US House passes resolution on significance of Diwali". The
Hindustan Times. 30 October 2007.
^ "Statement by the President on Diwali". 4 November 2010.
San Antonio Festival of Lights Celebrates 5th Anniversary
^ Vora, Shivani (20 October 2011). "New York's Pierre Hotel Celebrates
its First Diwali". The New York Times
India blog. Retrieved
United States Postal Service. Retrieved 2016-09-08.
^ India's banks face pre-
Diwali cash crunch James Lamont, The
Financial Times (29 October 2010)
Diwali lights up consumer spending, festive spirit beats inflation
India Today (1 November 2013)
^ Festive season to boost
India gold buying Archived 7 December 2013
at the Wayback Machine. Bullion Street (15 October 2013)
^ Gold, Key markets:
India World Gold Council (2013)
^ Firecrackers to cost a bomb this
Diwali The Times of
^ Barman SC, Singh R, Negi MP, Bhargava SK (September 2009). "Fine
particles (PM2.5) in ambient air of
Lucknow city due to fireworks on
Diwali festival". Journal of Environmental Biology. 30 (5): 625–32.
PMID 20136038. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
^ Attri AK, Kumar U, Jain VK (June 2001). "Formation of ozone by
fireworks". Nature. 411 (6841): 1015. doi:10.1038/35082634.
^ Sameeksha Khare (18 October 2017). "Diwali, Crackers and
^ Harsh Kumar (18 October 2017). "Poor air quality supports cracker
^ a b "India's courts take the fun out of a
Hindu holiday". The
Economist. 12 October 2017.
^ Kartik Kumar (19 October 2017). "Air quality improves after cracker
^ Mohan D, Varghese M (1990). "Fireworks cast a shadow on India's
festival of lights". World Health Forum. 11 (3): 323–6.
^ Ahuja RB, Bhattacharya S (August 2004). "Burns in the developing
world and burn disasters". BMJ. 329 (7463): 447–9.
doi:10.1136/bmj.329.7463.447. PMC 514214 .
^ "Keeping Your Dogs Safe When The Fireworks Start".
^ Jha, J. C. (1976). "The
Hindu Festival of Divali in the Caribbean".
Caribbean Quarterly. 22 (1): 53–61. JSTOR 40653317.
^ Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, I.iii.28
Diwali The Tribune,
^ Shashanka, Swami (2012). "Role of Spiritual Science in Leadership
and Management". Purushartha. 5 (2): 93–106.
^ Ancient vedic prayer World Prayers Society (2012)
^ Derrett, J. Duncan M. (2009). "An Indian metaphor in St John's
Gospel". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. 9 (2): 271–86.
doi:10.1017/S1356186300011056. JSTOR 25183679.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Diwali.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Diwali
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Gurus, saints, philosophers
Hinduism by country
Festivals in the
Regional New Year
Cheti Chand (Sindhi)
Gudi Padwa (Marathi, Konkani)
Pana Sankranti (Oriya)
Pohela Boishakh (Bengali)
Ugadi (Telugu, Kannada)
Vaisakhi (North & Central India, Nepal)
Shravana Putrada Ekadashi
Pausha Putrada Ekadashi
Festivals in the Sindhi calendar
Sindhi Cultural Day
Guru Purnima Guru Purnima
Gogio - Nag Panchmi
Mahalaxmi [Sagido Chhodinin]
Diyari - Laxmi Pooja
Guru Nanak Jayanti
Sindhi New Year
Sindh Literature Festival
Hyderabad Literary Festival
Sindhi Muslims Holidays
List of Sindhi festivals