Diwali 2023: The auspicious Hindu festival of Diwali falls on November 12. Also known as Deepavali, the Festival Of Lights is marked with pomp across the country. It symbolises the spiritual ‘victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance’. The festival is marked according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar and falls between mid-October and mid-November on the 15th day of Kartik month – the darkest night of the year. The festivities are spread across five days, beginning with Dhanteras and ending with Bhai Dooj. As we gear up to celebrate the festival, know why we celebrate it, its history and significance, and some lesser-known facts.
Why do we celebrate Diwali?
Diwali marks Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya with Maa Sita and Lord Lakshman after spending 14 years in exile and defeating the King of Lanka, Ravana. Hindus celebrate Diwali for various reasons. The festival celebrates the country’s cultural heritage and is observed all over the country. Even Indians outside the country mark the festival, making it a unifying celebration. It is also that time of the year when families come together. Diwali also marks the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. During this time, people worship Gods and Goddesses like Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi, which helps them immerse themselves in traditions and awakens them spiritually.
Meanwhile, Deepavali is also an auspicious time for Hindus, bringing them luck and prosperity. Thus, it marks new beginnings for them – as they start new ventures, businesses and their financial year. It also boosts a sense of community as people decorate their homes with diyas, candles and colourful lights, eat delicious sweets, exchange gifts, follow rituals passed down by generations, perform Lakshmi Puja, and perform charity.
Diwali 2023 history and significance:
According to legends, Lord Rama, the Prince of Ayodhya, returned home (Ayodhya) from vanvas (exile) after 14 years and defeated Ravana – the King of Lanka – on the auspicious occasion of Diwali – accompanied by Mata Sita and Lakshman. People of Ayodhya celebrated his return by lighting the streets and every home of Ayodhya with rows of lamps and diyas. The tradition has continued to date and is celebrated as the Festival of Lights.
Diwali signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. It marks the eradication of dark shadows, negativity and doubts from our lives. The festival promotes the message of illuminating our cores with clarity and positivity. On this day, people celebrate and worship for prosperity by praying to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh, exchanging gifts with loved ones, and performing charity.
Diwali 2023 lesser-known facts:
Here are some facts you didn’t know about the Festival of Lights —
1) Diwali falls on a no-moon night – It is celebrated in the month of Kartik on Amavasya (moonless night), according to the Hindu calendar.
2) The foundation of the Golden Temple was laid on Diwali.
3) The festival is marked with different names across the country and outside its borders. In Nepal, it is marked as Tihar ir Swanti. In Malaysia, it is called Hari Diwali. In Thailand, people observe Diwali as Lam Kriyongh and light lamps on bana leaves.
4) Apart from India, the city of Leicester, in the United Kingdom, holds the largest Diwali celebrations. Every year, tens of thousands of people gather in the streets to enjoy a night of light, music, and dancing.
5) In Bengal, people worship Maa Kali – the destroyer of all evil forces – on Diwali. In Nepal, people worship Lord Krishna and celebrate his victory over the wicked king Narakaasura.