Beginner’s Guide to Diwali

202014novAll DayDiwali


Who Celebrates Diwali?

Diwali is celebrated by the Hindu and Sikh community. With over 1.1 billion Hindus and Sikhs around the world, Diwali is probably one of the most celebrated festivals across the planet. 

What is the history of Diwali?

There are a number of origins of Diwali varying across different parts of India. One of the popular reasons for celebrating Diwali is taken from the Hindu Epic the Ramayan, in which Lord Rama returns to his kingdom of Ayodhya with his wife and brother after 14 years of exile, during which he defeated the demon Ravana. The people of Ayodyha lit oil lamps along the way to light up their path in the darkness – possibly why this is called the festival of light.

This fabulous 4 minute video from Mocomi tells the story of Ramayan in a way that young and old will enjoy.

Diwali is also a time of worship, particularly of Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth.

How is Diwali celebrated?

Hindu families will wear new clothes, exchange gifts and Indian sweets (and increasingly Greeting Cards too!) and light fireworks. Candles are lit around the home. Prayers are held at home or in local temples, followed by family gatherings and feasts.

Diwali is a new year celebration in the Hindu calendar, and a time to pray to Lakshmi for a prosperous year ahead. Many new business ventures are started at this time of year in India

As in India, Diwali is fast becoming one of the most popular Asian festivals in which greetings cards are exchanged. Awareness of Diwali is also increasing thanks to mainstream television – Diwali has even been celebrated on Eastenders!