Diwali - The Festival Of Lights

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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 festivals of India.

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 during this time, 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 2068. That is because the 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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140 Comments
  • cahill74
    cahill74Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 7:34 am
    i am so proud of my culture
    • GIRL1609Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 1:39 pm
      India is my home country!! I really appreciate it! Thank u and 2* thanx u r the best, Miss Dolasia! u should join food is great <3 holiday:) <3 GIRL1609
      • NYPDTuesday, April 24, 2012 at 6:36 am
        I So Wanna Do It! Food Looks Tasty!
        • mariabubbles
          mariabubblesMonday, April 1, 2013 at 8:21 am
          seriously? you wanna do it cuz the food looks good? that's like an insult you know
        • izzysk8er
          izzysk8erTuesday, April 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm
          wow! that must be fun!!!
          • beachWednesday, April 4, 2012 at 7:32 am
            cool
            • heavenly123
              heavenly123Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm
              WOW!
              • Enter your nameMonday, February 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm
                wow i want to go there on tht holiday! sounds fun! i respect all cultures!!
                • ISaturday, February 25, 2012 at 11:28 am
                  India is my home country!!! i really appreciate this article!!!
                  • tabby knoxsWednesday, February 22, 2012 at 5:35 am
                    i can't belive hindus are 57 years before us
                    • coolSunday, February 12, 2012 at 8:55 am
                      the food is so awesome people