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Interesting Facts About Diwali

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. The festival will be
celebrated on October 30th in 2016.

Interesting Facts About Diwali

Diwali is celebrated
on the fifteenth day of
the Hindu month of
Kartika.

Interesting Facts About Diwali


The word Diwali
means the row of
lighted lamps (diyas)
in Hindi.
The festival signifies
the victory of light
over darkness.

Interesting Facts About Diwali


Origins
There are several myths associated with Deepavali, including its
origins and significance. Despite the variations, these stories have the
common theme of good triumphing over evil.
According to the South Indians, Deepavali is associated with Lord
Krishna. The myth tells of a cruel demon king, Naraka (also known
as Narakasura), who oppressed his people and instilled fear in them.
The people prayed to Lord Krishna to help them, and he responded
by engaging Naraka in battle and eventually killing him. Deepavali
is, therefore, also known as Naraka Chathurdasi (Narakas 14th day)
to commemorate the day the demon was slayed.
The rule of Naraka was likened to darkness, and his slaying was seen
as the dispelling of darkness to welcome light. Hence during
Deepavali, the lights are a reminder that darkness can only be
removed through light.

Interesting Facts About Diwali

For the North Indians, Deepavali is


linked to a myth from the Indian epic,
Ramayana. It tells the story of Lord
Rama of Ayuthya, who was deprived of
his rights to the throne and exiled to the
forest for 14 years. After defeating the
demon Ravana, Lord Rama returned
with his wife Sita and brother
Lakshmana to claim his throne. Besides
celebrating his triumphant return with
firecrackers, the people also lit up their
homes with diyas (clay lamps), an
activity that has since become an annual
Deepavali tradition.

Interesting Facts About Diwali

More than 800 million people


celebrate this festival in various
ways.

It 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.

Interesting Facts About Diwali

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.

Interesting Facts About Diwali


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

Interesting Facts About Diwali


It is a tradition to clean the house,
making it spotless before entering the
New Year.
Diyas (tradional lamps) light the
houses and the diyas are left burning
all night fireworks illuminate the
skies.
Rangoli decorates the outside Hindu
homes.
They do this to attract Lakshmi, the
goddess of good fortune.

Interesting Facts About Diwali

Businesses also start new


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

Interesting Facts About Diwali

Deepavali is also associated


with Lakshmi, the goddess of
wealth and beauty. Many people
believe that during Deepavali,
Lakshmi brings her wealth and
good fortune to the clean and
well-lit homes she visits.
Therefore, people light up their
homes to invite the goddess to
visit.

Interesting Facts About Diwali

The North Indians celebrate Deepavali a day later


than their southern counterparts, and celebrations can last
for five days. They consider Deepavali as a festival to usher
in and celebrate a new year. The South Indians, on the
other hand, celebrate Deepavali as a festival to mark the
end of evil and the beginning of good.
Preparations for Deepavali begin long before the actual
day. The home is cleaned, new clothes are purchased, and
sweet and savory snacks are prepared.

One of the first sweets the South Indians make is the athi
resam (the supreme taste), which is a puff made by frying a
dough of sugar and ground fermented rice flour. This sweet
is given to the goddess of the stove as an offering, and to
ask for her blessing to ensure that the sweet-making
process is a success. Other treats that are usually offered to
guests during Deepavali include the savory, crunchy snack
muruku, and sweetmeats such as halwa, burfi, laddu and
semia.

Interesting Facts About Diwali

During Deepavali, the doorways of homes are


decorated with diyas and kolam (also known as
rangoli) intricate patterns made from
coloured rice powder or rice grains.

The kolam is also considered an act of charity,


as it provides food for birds and insects. Apart
from Deepavali, the kolam is also created for
other occasions such as the Ponggal festival
(traditional harvest festival) and weddings.
Lighted diyas are placed at doorways to draw
auspicious energies into the home. In the past,
little oil lamps with wicks were used. These
have since been replaced by electric lightbulbs
in multiple colours.

Interesting Facts About Diwali


On the morning of Deepavali, many Hindus
mainly the South Indians wake up very
early to take oil baths. The oldest member of
the family places three drops of oil on the
foreheads of the other family members, after
which they proceed to take their baths.
Symbolically oil bath on Deepavali suggest
new beginning removing all the ego, anger,
fights, pride and jealousy of the previous year
and a fresh new beginning. A physical
cleansing of the body and a spiritual
cleansing of the mind with new hope.

Interesting Facts About Diwali


New clothes usually traditional Indian attire
such as the dhoti (a piece of cloth knotted
around the waist and extends to cover the legs;
resembles a long skirt) and angavastram (a
piece of long cloth draped across one shoulder;
paired with the dhoti) for men, and the sari (a
long piece of fabric draped around the body)
and choli (blouse) for women are worn during
Deepavali, representing a new start and a hope
that the individual will become a better
person.18 Traditionally, Hindus prefer to wear
bright colours during Deepavali. They avoid
wearing black, which is associated with death
and regarded as inauspicious.

Interesting Facts About Diwali


After the morning rituals,
Hindu families visit temples
to offer their prayers,
before proceeding to visit
relatives and friends. Being
a religious festival, some
Hindus choose to abstain
from
meat
during
Deepavali.

Interesting Facts About Diwali


Thanksgiving prayers and
pujas
(prayer
rituals)
performed before the family
shrine are also part of the
morning ritual. During this
time,
younger
family
members prostrate before
their elders to receive their
blessings

Interesting Facts About Diwali

Public celebrations in Singapore


Indian migrants brought along their
customs, including the celebration of
Deepavali, to Singapore. Deepavali
was declared a public holiday in
Singapore
in
1929.
Since the early 1900s, shops in the
Serangoon, Selegie and Rochor areas
have been decorated and brightly lit
in the run-up to Deepavali.

Interesting Facts About Diwali


Diwali is really a fabulous festival and
fireworks play a significant role in
increasing its charm among all agegroups.
Whether they
are
kids,
youngsters, or older people, everybody
enjoy the fireworks like twinkling Anars,
furious Rockets, vibrant Sparklers,
cyclonic Ground Discs (phirki), and so.