Diwali 2018 is quickly approaching and millions of people around the world are preparing to celebrate the five day Hindu festival of lights with food, fireworks and good times spent with friends and family.
If you’re curious to know what Diwali is or, are planning to partake in Diwali 2018, here’s what you need to know.
What is Diwali?
Diwali is a Sanskrit word that means “rows of lighted lamps.” The festival of lights originated in the Hindu religion and is often celebrated in
The annual five-day festival celebrates the victory of the forces of good (light) over the forces of evil (darkness).
During Diwali, clay lamps (diyas) are lit to represent the destruction of all things evil, including jealousy, greed, fear, and suffering.
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Diwali has become a national festival that is enjoyed by just about everyone regardless of faith or religion. Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs all celebrate Diwali.
While many Indians celebrate Diwali, Hindus interpret the Diwali story based on where they live in India, according to National Geographic.
In northern India, they acknowledge the story of King Rama’s return to Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana by lighting rows of clay lamps. In southern regions of India, Diwali is recognized as the last day that Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura. In western India, the Diwali symbolizes the last day that Lord Vishnu, the second god in the Hindu trinity, sent the demon King Bali to rule the netherworld.
Regardless of which region of India a person is from, the common theme of Diwali is to celebrate good over evil.
Members of non-Hindu communities such as Jainism and Sikhism celebrate Diwali for their own reasons.
In Jainism, Diwali symbolizes spiritual awakening of Lord Mahavira, according to National Geographic. Sikhs recognize Diwali as the day Guru Hargobind Ji was freed from imprisonment.
How to celebrate Diwali
Most people who celebrate Diwali will decorate their homes with lamps and other decorations. A variety of food is served during the five-day celebration including traditional Indian dishes that range from sweet to savory.
Because the occasion brings people together to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, families share food and gifts with each other during the festival.
When is Diwali 2018?
Each year Diwali is celebrated on the 15th day of the Hindi month Kartik, or October or November on the Western calendar. The exact dates of Diwali change each year because the holiday is based on the Hindu lunar calendar.
Diwali 2018 starts on Tuesday, November 6 and will continue for five days until Saturday, November 10.