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Diwali - Hindu Festival of Lights - Festivals of India

Updated on January 13, 2021
rajan jolly profile image

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Diwali 2021

Diwali this year is on 4 November 2021

Lighting On The Occasion Of Diwali Festival
Lighting On The Occasion Of Diwali Festival | Source


Diwali also called Deepawali, is a festival of India, especially celebrated by Hindus where ever they may reside. People from other castes too celebrate it with vigour, though for different reasons. But for whatever reasons it is celebrated the fervour in people at all times is at a high pitch.

Besides India, Diwali festival is celebrated in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Myanmar, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago And Fiji.

It is one of the most celebrated festivals, marked by the illumination of homes, offices, workplaces, etc, and bursting of firecrackers. In the good old days bursting of crackers would start almost a month before Diwali.

Diwali is celebrated when the new moon is seen, sometime between mid-October to mid-November. The dates keep changing every year because the lunar calendar is followed.

Earthen lamps are filled with oil and lighted to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. The lamps are kept lighted at night along with the illuminations and bursting of crackers, into the wee hours of the morning. Garlands made of mango leaves and marigold flowers are hung in the doorways.

Diyas (earthen lamps) being lit on Diwali
Diyas (earthen lamps) being lit on Diwali | Source

Diwali- A Five Day celebration

Diwali festival is in fact a conglomeration of 5 events... one event or occasion being celebrated each day.

First Day - The first day of Diwali is Dhanteras day. People buy utensils on this day as also some ornaments of gold or silver, hoping that this would bring them good luck.

In the evening earthen lamps are lit and Laxmi Puja is performed-the Goddess Laxmi(Goddess of wealth) is worshipped for prosperity.

Second Day - This is the day prior to Diwali also called Choti Diwali day (small Diwali day). It is also known as Naraka Chaturdashi day. Naraka was a demon who was killed by Lord Krishna and this day celebrates the killing of the demon.

Third Day - This is Diwali day. People get dressed in new clothes. Sweets and gifts are given to relatives and friends. In the evening Laxmi Puja is performed( Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth, is worshipped). This day also marks the last day of the financial year for businessmen. New account books are worshipped on this day and the new financial year starts on the next day, the fourth day, also called Padwa day.

Colorful Rangoli drawn on the floor
Colorful Rangoli drawn on the floor | Source
Garlands For Diwali Made Of Marigold Flowers
Garlands For Diwali Made Of Marigold Flowers | Source

Rangoli- a colourful floral pattern is drawn on the floor near the entrance to the home to welcome guests and the Goddess Laxmi.

Homes, offices, workplaces, etc, are illuminated with lights from outside and inside and doors and windows of homes are kept open in the hope that Goddess Laxmi only visits homes having their doors open.

Many people especially those rich have made a ritual of gambling on this day, by playing cards, believing that gambling today will bring them prosperity all the year.

Fourth Day - It is called Govardhan Puja day and Padwa( New Year) day. It is the first day of the new year. Govardhan Puja (worship of Govardhan) also is done today. Lord Krishna is worshipped on this day. Legend has it that Lord Krishna lifted the mountain Govardhan to save the people from the deluge caused by incessant rains and hence on this day Govardhan Puja is done.

Fifth Day - Bhai Dooj Day (sisters' day). On this day, brothers visit their sisters' homes, partake food, give gifts expressing love and affection and enquire about their welfare.

The fifth day marks the end of the 5 days of Diwali festival celebrations.

Diwali Sweets
Diwali Sweets | Source
Fireworks Display During Diwali
Fireworks Display During Diwali | Source

Some Important Historical Events Associated With The Diwali Festival

1. Lord Rama returned home after 14 years of exile and vanquishing Raavana in war.

2. Narakasura, the demon was killed by Lord Krishna.

3. The Pandavas returned home after 13 years of exile which includes 1 year of living incognito.

4. Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana or Eternal bliss on this day.

5. This day has a special significance for Sikhs. The 6th Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji was released from Gwalior prison. He refused to leave until the other 52 imprisoned princes too were released, compelling the authorities to release them too. A condition was attached however that as many as could hold on to the cloak of Guruji would be released. Guruji got stitched a special cloak having 52 tails one each for a prisoner and this way all the 52 princes could come out holding 1 tail.

Sikhs celebrate this day as Bandi Chorrh day or the day of freedom of the imprisoned.

6. In Bengal Diwali is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Kali- the goddess of strength.

Diwali is the most enthusiastically, nationwide celebrated festival. People from all walks of life get together forgetting cast, creed, religion and background differences and come together to share love and joy.

Diwali festivity is a sight to watch and experience through nowadays the old pomp and splendour is not very evident because of the economic crunch faced by everyone. Still, parents have to give in to the demands of the children and one can see children especially, celebrating Diwali by bursting crackers without care.

Sweets and other food prepared during Diwali.

Raw Papaya Halwa

Malpua Recipe - Diwali & Holi Festival Recipe

© 2011 Rajan Singh Jolly


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    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      I'm glad this article has made you understand this festival better now. Always good to know about other culture festivals so you can really enjoy them. Thank you for stopping by Robert.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      3 years ago

      Thank you for the information and historical background. I use to work for an Indian company and most of the people in my neighborhood are Indians so it is good for me to understand something about their holidays.

    • amitsondagar profile image

      Amit Sondagar 

      6 years ago from Ahmedabad

      Hey rajan jolly

      i know about diwali festival but you written perfect way and cover all diwali related celebration moment into this article,

      thanks for sharing this wonderful article with us

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Thanks moonlake for the visit and sharing.

    • moonlake profile image


      7 years ago from America

      Thanks for sharing your The Hindu Festival Of Lights. I have to share this with my followers. Voted up and Tweeted.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      8 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      @ Ishwaryaa - its been ages since we burst crackers. I think going along with the current times celebrating a green diwali is the ideal way to go. I like the way you celebrate this festival.

      Have a green Happy Diwali.

      Thanks for reading, voting and sharing.

      @ sereseus - Happy Diwali to you.

    • sereseus profile image

      Albin Pius 

      8 years ago from kerala,India

      Happy diwali to all.:)

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 

      8 years ago from Chennai, India

      A wonderful hub packed with plenty of details and vibrant photos. I enjoyed celebrating Diwali with my family year after year. Some years ago, I stopped bursting crackers due to the sad plight of child-workers in Sivakasi and my parents did the same. What I liked about this beautiful festival is prayers, sweets, diya lamps and family reunion.

      Wishes you & your family a Happy Diwali!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Awesome. Voted up & Shared

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      8 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Hi A.A. I wish you go for the invitation to celebrate. There is so much vibrancy in this festival which has to see to be felt in its entirety. So glad to see you visit the hub and I am happy you like the write up. Thanks for the visit and appreciation.

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Fascinating history behind the festival. I've been invited to one before, and never went. I can't wait for the next invitation. Thank you for sharing.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      8 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Rahul we celebrate all festivals with verve & gusto be it diwali, holi, durga puja, ganesh chaturti or any of the umpteen festivals we have in India.

      I appreciate your reading and commenting. Your input is much valued. Thanks Rahul.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 

      8 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      I believe Diwali to be the most vibrant festival amongst the many beautiful ones our land Boasts of....

      I personally do not like bursting crackers but I admire the lighting and color work all over...

      And again... the best thing about a fest is the food... apart form the sweets above.. here in Bihar... ( Eatern India) we have a spicy curry of Potato and Cauliflowers served with Puri Bread stuffed with Lentils...

      Again Sir... an excellent hub

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      8 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Annie, I have written a few more hubs on Indian festivals which you can read when you feel like it. There's one on Holi- the festival of colors, another on Baisakhi- the harvest festival of North India and a couple of others.

      I've decided to write about them, as different festivals approach. That would also give me a breather from writing on health foods.

      All festivals are celebrated here with a lot of gusto and it seems your daughter may have seen some festival being celebrated while she was on a visit here.

      Thanks for your keen interest in knowing about other cultures and traditions. Thanks a lot Annie.

    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 

      8 years ago from Australia

      I also am interested in learning about cultures and that's why I was drawn to this hub. I have not visited India, however my daughter has and she loved your country and the amazing festivals. I am looking forward to learning lots more from you Rajan, thank you again.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      8 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Annie, I'm happy you decided to share this hub rather than my health hubs which being my niche get shared most frequently. I am thrilled that you love the information and history of the festival. My main purpose of writing hubs on Indian festivals is to let people from other cultures know something of our culture. On my part, I like to learn about other cultures and traditions. It feels so nice and good inside when a reader appreciates this effort.

      Thanks for all the good wishes, votes and the sharing Annie. Take care.

    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 

      8 years ago from Australia

      You are so lucky to have such a beautiful culture and to live in a country where festivals are steeped in traditions of history, sharing, beautiful colours and feasts. I love the beautiful marigold garlands and the symbolic drawings for Diwali. I love the silk fabrics and the stunning saris. The oil candles and fireworks are spectacular. Thank you so much Rajan for sharing a little of the magic of Diwali here at Hubpages. My votes and best wishes to you, from Annie - oh, and SHARING!!!

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      8 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Aurelio, nice to learn that you are aware of this festival. I'm wondering if crackers are burst on this occasion there as well?

      Thanks for reading & voting.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      8 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I'm somewhat familiar with this festival because it is celebrated by the Indian community here in Southern California. Great fun. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      8 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Amit, thanks for the read and support. Really appreciate it.

    • profile image

      Amit Herlekar 

      8 years ago

      Excellent! You have great knowledge of Indian religions! Just wonderful!

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      9 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Lady_E thanks for reading and leaving a comment. I hope you found some useful info in my hub.

      I did enjoy diwali,Shukriya.:)

    • Lady_E profile image


      9 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks for sharing the history of the Tradition.

      Hoe you enjoyed Diwali.

      Shuku ria. :)

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      9 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Hi Motown2Chitown,

      I am happy to learn that my hub was able to throw some light on an aspect you were wanting to know about. Such comments as yours are a great morale booster. Thanks for stopping by and reading and of course leaving your feedback. Thank you very much.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      9 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Hi MsDora,

      Thanks for going through my hub and it makes my effort worthwhile to see that I have been able to share something extra to what you all know. I really appreciate your comments. Thank you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      9 years ago from The Caribbean

      Became acquainted with Diwali on the island of Trinidad, but your hub teaches a lot more than I knew. Thanks for sharing!

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      9 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Hi zanaworld, thanks for reading my hub and appreciating. I will check out your hub on gift ideas. I 'll be reading your hubs too. I like your interesting profile.

      Best wishes to you.

    • zanaworld profile image

      SA Shameel 

      9 years ago from Bangalore

      thanks for trowing lights on the color festival of diwali. Last week I wrote an article on some gift ideas for diwali.

      Hope you had a wonderful Diwali!


    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      9 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      my dear Makusr,

      Greetings to you too. Great to know you liked the hub. The idea for this hub came from a facebook friend who lives in USA and wanted to know more about this festival.I am so thankful to her for giving me an idea to make it into a hub and let others a little about one festival of ours.

      I hope hubbers from others parts of the globe too join in to share something about their culture.

      your comments are so very refreshing. Thank you .

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      9 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      -) Jen Jen, great to know that you have a festival of lights too. I wonder if this is limited to the area where you live or is it held all over the US. Also, am wanting to know about the history behind this occasion.

      It would give readers like me an insight into its significance if you could make a hub about this.

      Thanks for the read and sharing the info.

    • makusr profile image

      Manoj Kumar Srivastava 

      9 years ago from India


      Greetings from MAKUSR. Thanks for sharing an informative article for those who don't know about Diwali. It's nice to bring our culture forward. All should know about it.

      Lots of Love,


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Rajan, this is a very interesting hub. It's absolutely packed with information about Diwali, and I enjoyed it a great deal. It's nice to know the background of the festival. I had Indian neighbors when I lived in Florida, and I've seen the floral pattern and earthen lamps outside the home. It was beautiful, and I always wondered what it meant. Now I know. Thanks for that. :)

    • JenJen0703 profile image

      Jennifer McLeod 

      9 years ago from Detroit, Michigan

      We have the "Festival of Lights" in Battle Creek, Michigan, where I live, except we use Christmas lights. Every year, the city workers set up the lights, and we turn them on right after Thanksgiving. It is a yearly tradition, and the lights stay lit until after New Year's.


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