It's Diwali, The Festival Of Lights

By Meera Dolasia on November 13, 2012

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Today, millions of Hindus, Jains and Sikhs all over the world are celebrating Diwali. Also known as Deepavali or the Festival of Lights, it is one of the most eagerly awaited and widely celebrated Indian festivals.

The day begins with most people visiting the temple to obtain blessings from the Hindu gods. Following that, they visit friends and family and exchange gifts and Indian sweets. Since buying gold jewelry is considered very auspicious on this day, the women dress in their finest Indian attire and head to the jewelers in the afternoon. 

At night, the houses in India are lit up with diyas (small oil lamps) and the skies, with colorful fireworks. What makes it fun is that these are not professional displays - Instead, everyone creates their own show by lighting up their favorite crackers. The young ones stick to the sparklers, while the older ones brave it out with the louder, more powerful fireworks. The commotion continues late into the night until the very last firecracker has exploded.

The significance behind Diwali varies amongst the different states of India. While the stories may differ, they all celebrate the triumph of good over evil! For some Hindus, Diwali also marks the end of the calendar year. Tomorrow, they will celebrate the first day of the year 2069. That is because the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar, which is based on the lunar cycle, is 57 years ahead of the conventional Christian calendar, that we all follow.

For kids living in India, Diwali is the equivalent of Christmas in the western countries. They get a week's vacation from school, receive gifts from their parents and other relatives (no Santa Claus however!), wear beautiful clothes, eat great food and, get to play with sparklers and fireworks. Sounds fun doesn't it?

Happy Diwali!

Sources: About.com, BBCnews.com

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296 Comments
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  • roos213_5
    roos213_54/22/2013
    For Christmas we open the smallest and then the biggest presents.
    • akaneoncityligh
      When I was little, one of my friends were Indian, so it was diwali and we had this spark stick thingy so she created a spark from it and then she let me try and it was so fun.
      • akaneoncityligh
        One of my nicknames is Diya, which means light in my language, and im not Indian, so i dont celebrate diwali, but I would be originally from India.
        • roos213_18
          roos213_183/4/2013
          How they can put lat of light.
          • JV2/27/2013
            I am indian too this festival is awesome we get to eat sweets that are better than any from candy shops.
            • roos213_8
              roos213_81/4/2013
              Those are a lot of light
              • roos213_8
                roos213_81/4/2013
                Those are a lot of lights.That is cool.
                • la_eliza
                  la_eliza12/18/2012
                  Woah, that it so amazing!
                  • mihikamehra
                    mihikamehra12/13/2012
                    I'm Indian, too! I celebrate Diwali
                    • gooogo12/13/2012
                      I'm so luky to be a Hindu. JAI HIND!!!!!

                      Vocabulary

                      attireauspiciouscommotionconventionaljewelerstempletriumph

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