Diwali also known as the festival of lights is a five day celebration that is enjoyed by millions around the world. It is one of the most significant festivals in the Indian culture and coincides with the start of the Hindu New Year.
When is it?
The date of Diwali is determined by the position of the moon and the Hindu lunar calender. It usually occurs in either in October or November, this year it was celebrated between the 17th and 21st of October.
What does it Celebrate?
Depending on the religion the festival celebrates a number of different things. Hindus celebrate several different events abd what they celebrate can depend on where they live. In the North they celebrate the story of King Rama's (lord of virtue) return to Ayodhya after the defeat of demon King Ravana by lighting rows of clay lamps.In the South of India they celebrate the day Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura. In Western India they celebrate the day Lord Vishnu sent the demon king Bali to rule the nether world.
In Jainism it marks the day that lord Mahavira (who is credited reforming the faith) reached nirvana or spiritual awakening.
For Sikhs Diwali falls on the date Guru Hargobind was released from Prison in 1619. Guru Hargobind was the sixth of ten Sih Guru.
In Buddhism it is known as Ashok Vijayadashami and marks when the Indian ruler Empror Ashoka gave up violence to take on a peaceful path.
The Diwali celebration marks different events to different communities and allows all to celebrate.
It is truly one of the largest and most significant celebration to occur for a large number of the global community each year.