Happy Diwali

What is Diwali?
Diwali, is one of the biggest Indian festivals and also a major occassion in Nepal. The festival has great religious significance for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and the Nepalese.  In India, Diwali is now considered to be more of a national festival, and is enjoyed by most Indians regardless of faith. It is commonly celebrated by decorating homes with lamps and candles, bursting of firecrackers and sparklers, eating sweets and other mouthwatering dishes, praying to Gods and Goddesses, observing religious rituals, wearing new dresses and sending wishes and gifts to one another.


When is Diwali?
Though the number of days of the celebration of the festival differ with different communities, the actual days of observance of Diwali are common and fall on exactly the same set of days across India and Nepal. It is observed generally in the months of October or November.  It is celebrated for five consecutive days at the end of Hindu month of Ashvin. Diwali is on November 13th, 2012.

What does Diwali mean?
The word “Divali/Diwali” is a variation of the Sanskrit word “Deepavali” which means “a continuous line of lamps” (The word ‘Deep’ means “light”, and ‘avali’ means “a continuous line”).   Thus, Diwali is the time to celebrate with lights.  Hindus and Sikhs alike regard it as a celebration of life and use the occasion to strengthen family and social relationships.  As one of the most important Hindu festivals, Diwali, marks the beginning of a new year in some Hindu calendars. For Hindus, the festival is not only the time to celebrate but also the time to worship.

Why is Diwali called the “Festival of Lights”?
This is probably because of the manner in which it is observed. The festival is traditionally celebrated with activities like bursting crackers, lighting rows of candles and diyas (earthen lamps) around individual homes, holding dazzling fireworks display and igniting colorful sparklers.

Today Diwali is celebrated across the world as the “Festival of Light,” where the lights or lamps signify victory of good over the evil within every human being . 

Happy Diwali!

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