The festival of Diwali is being celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains this week.
Diwali will be celebrated by different faith communities from 5th November onwards this year. The dates vary each year according to the night of the full moon and celebrations can last up to a week. Diwali is often described as the “festival of lights”.
The name of the festival comes from the Sanskrit word Dipavali, meaning row of lights. It is a festival that different faith communities celebrate including Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains. The day is marked as an official holiday in India, but other countries also celebrate Diwali, especially where there is a significant Indian population e.g. Sri Lanka, Nepal, Mauritius, Myanmar, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Fiji, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Celebrations will be taking place across the UK, although some of the biggest are most often held in Leicester, Birmingham and London.
There’s a little piece of India in Lincolnshire
The Lincs Indian Society are extending an invitation to the wider community to join their events and share their love of Indian heritage.
Their Diwali celebration will be held at the Lincolnshire Showground’s EPIC Centre on Saturday 17 November 2018 and will be their biggest party yet.
Find out more about how you can take part on the Lincs Indian Society website here.
How is Diwali celebrated?
Like Christmas in the West, Diwali is very much a time for buying and exchanging gifts, lighting lamps (divas) and fireworks and handing out sweets. Diwali is also a traditional time to redecorate homes. In towns in India (and in Britain), lights are often used in Diwali displays and many cities have fabulous Diwali festivities, bringing both faith and non-faith communities together to celebrate – Leicester being one of the most popular of destinations to visit during this time of year.
The main theme of the Diwali festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance; however, the actual legends that go with the festival vary in different parts of India and within different faith groups.
We would like to wish you all a very Happy Diwali!