DIWALI

By: Monica Jansen

What is Diwali?

Diwali is a religious festival for Hinduism. It marks the beginning of a new year in a Hindu calendar. The festival usually takes place in late October or November. The festival takes place during a five day period. During that time lanterns filled with oil light up temples, peoples homes, and are set down on rivers and streams. The lights that are set down everywhere are said to welcome Lakshmi in to give them good fortune for the upcoming year. People also like to call Diwali the "festival of lights." This is the most important festival celebrated in India, and the most well known festival. Poeple that practice Hinduism see Diwali as a time to reflect about their lives. They want to get rid of all of their bad behaviors, and starting to see all the good in people.

Did you know?

Did you know Diwali comes from a sanskrit word dipavali meaning "row of lights"?



Below is a picture of the Golden Temple in Amritsar. This is a common place that people like to come and celebrate Diwali at.

Did you know?

Did you know the festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance?

How is Diwali celebrated?

Its said that Hindu's believe the light welcomes the presence of Lakshmi. All around are houses and temples that are very brightly decorated, and hold many religious ceremonies. During the five day period many different things happen. The first day of Diwali wives spring clean there homes, and shop for gold and kitchen utensils . Second day of Diwali they start to decorate their houses with lamps, and create design patterns with colored powder or sand. The third day is the main day of the festival. They gather around for a prayer called Lakshmi puja a prayer to the goddess, followed by a feast and fireworks. The fourth day is the day of the new year. Friends and family visit with gifts and give there best wishes for the upcoming season. On the last day of Diwali brothers visit there married sisters and welcome them with love.

Who celebrates Diwali?

The festival is celebrated by people all around the world. Religious groups like Jain's and Sikhs have there own version of the holiday. Diwali is important to the Jain community, some who are merchants. The Jain's call it Deva Diwali, it marks the death of Mahavira. They look to the light as a reminder of the light that was put out on Mahavira's death. This festival is not only important to Jain's but also the Hindu's.

Below is a picture of a young girl lighting a lamp for Diwali.

Some fun facts about Diwali!

In northern India, Diwali celebrates the return of Rama after fourteen years of exile, after the defeat of Ravana. In a place called Gujarat it honors the goddess of wealth Lakshmi. Nepal celebrates the festival commemorates the vicotry of Krishna over the demon king Narakaasura. Than in Bengal the festival associates with goddess Kali.


Bibliography

Diwali Encyclopedia Britannica Article 25 April 2013

http://school.eb.com/all/comptons/article-9321568


Diwali. National Geographic kids

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/stories/peopleplaces/diwali/


Diwali Encyclopedia Britannica Article 25 April 2013.

http://school.eb.com/all/elementary/article?articleId=390119