● Ahmed Wafi
Things you should know about the festival celebrated by over a billion people.
Deepavali or Diwali, or simply The Festival of Lights is a Hindu festival celebrated in October or November every year. This year it falls on Sunday 27 October, which means Monday is a public holiday – yay!
The history of Deepavali is quite complicated. It is celebrated for different reasons depending on which part of India you come from. For example, in Northern India Deepavali is celebrated in honour of King Rama’s return to Ayodhaya after defeating Rama by lighting a row of clay lamps. Fun fact: Deepavali gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa). Meanwhile, Southern India honours Deepavali as the day Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura while Western India celebrates Deepavali as the day Lord Vishnu banished the demon Mahabali to rule the Netherworld.
Whatever the reason, Deepavali is celebrated over the course of five days.
Day 1: On this day, people clean their homes and go shopping for gold or kitchen utensils in belief that it will help bring good fortune.
Day 2: Families decorate their houses with clay lamps and also create Rangoli or Kolam. Yep, those pretty decorations you see at malls during the Deepavali period made from coloured rice or powder.
Day 3: The main day of the festival sees families gather to make prayers to the Goddess Lakshmi. This is followed by lavish feasts and fireworks.
Day 4: Friends and families visit each other with gifts and best wishes for the season.
Day 5: The final day of Deepavali sees brothers and sisters share their love for one another through meals, gifts and aarti (religious ritual of worship).
#teamGRADUAN wishes everyone a happy Deepavali!
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