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
  • coolSunday, February 12, 2012 at 8:52 am
    hey people i celebrate diwali
    • annb66
      Ms. BakerSaturday, February 4, 2012 at 10:18 am
      Enjoy reading and learning about Diwali, the Festival of Lights.
      • verena
        verenaTuesday, January 31, 2012 at 5:43 pm
        I love this article, because India is my home country. I really appreciate you writing about my country, Miss. Dolasia !
        • momoFriday, January 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm
          my teacher celebrates that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          • moonraven
            moonravenFriday, December 30, 2011 at 6:16 pm
            the lights are so very pretty and bright!!!!
            • verena
              verenaTuesday, January 31, 2012 at 5:47 pm
              thanks its touching
            • mizzcathy4eva
              mizzcathy4evaSaturday, November 26, 2011 at 9:39 am
              that is alot of candles out there
              • verena
                verenaTuesday, January 31, 2012 at 5:54 pm
                duh there awesome
              • peacerock123
                peacerock123Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 11:13 am
                i am so scared of fireworks
                • peacerock123Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 3:09 pm
                  that is so india!
                  • verena
                    verenaTuesday, January 31, 2012 at 5:49 pm
                    of course it is!
                  • Jenaya ;PWednesday, November 16, 2011 at 9:12 am
                    The lights r bright and sparky! I would love a week off of school like you said Serena! But whats up with the food?
                    • verena
                      verenaTuesday, January 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm
                      The food is awesome, jenaya ;p.
                    • kailynWednesday, November 16, 2011 at 9:09 am
                      i wlold love to do this
                      • verena
                        verenaTuesday, January 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm
                        so would i