27 Interesting Facts About Diwali

Last updated on March 10th, 2017 at 07:08 am

“Diwali,” which is also referred to as Deepavali and Divali, is an important festival in India that is mainly celebrated by the Hindus. It is also known as the festival of light. Every year, the date of this festival is calculated by the Hindu lunar calendar. In 2015, the festival was celebrated on November 11th; and it was held on October 30th in 2016; and it will be held on October 19th in 2017.

Here are 27 interesting facts about Diwali

1. Diwali is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the Hindu month of Kartika. Hinduism is a major religion of India, and is considered to be the oldest religion in the world.

2. More than 800 million people celebrate this festival in various ways.

3. It is celebrated in honor of Lakshmi – the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity.

4. The festival also marks the return of the Lord Rama and Sita after completing fourteen years in exile.

5. The word Diwali means “the row of lighted lamps (diyas)” in Hindi.

6. The festival signifies the victory of light over darkness.

7. Diwali also marks a major shopping festival in the places where it is celebrated. There are special discounts and offers that businesses provide to their customers. Buying new things during this festival is considered to be good.

8. It is the most famous, biggest and brightest festival of India, and is celebrated for five days.

9. It is a national holiday in India, Trinidad & Tobago, Myanmar, Nepal, Mauritius, Guyana, Singapore, Surinam, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Fiji. And is an optional holiday in Pakistan.

10. On the same night that Diwali is celebrated, Jains celebrate a festival of lights to mark the attainment of moksha by Mahavira.

11. Oil and light lamps are used in high numbers in and around peoples’ houses and properties to celebrate the festival. The festival commemorates the lighting that was done to bring Lord Rama and his wife Sita from the forest of Ayodhya.

12. Diyas light the houses; fireworks illuminate the skies and rangoli decorates the outside Hindu homes. They do this to attract Lakshmi, the goddess of good fortune.

Rangoli! Decoration
Rangoli! Decoration. Image credit – Deepak Kumaran
A statue of Lord Ganesha
A statue of Lord Ganesha. Image credit – myriad ways

13. Traditional diyas (light lamps) used during Diwali are earthen lamps, although plastic and metallic diyas have also become available recently. These diyas are filled with ghee or oil, and a cotton wick is used to bear the flame.

14. And the diyas are left burning all night.

15. Sikhs also celebrate Diwali, as it marks the release of their gurji – Guru Hargobind Sahibji – and 52 other kings and princess of India that were made captives by the mogul emperor Shah Jahan.

16. It is a tradition to clean the house, making it spotless before entering the New Year.

17. Businesses also start new accounting books, and farmers end the harvest season. The festival also signals the onset of winter.