Happy Diwali 2018: What is Diwali celebrated for? Which religion celebrates?


Diwali celebrations have sought to truly capture the spirit of the ‘festival of light’ as they do every year, with some stunning displays off the back of fireworks night.

The festival lasts for a whole week, beginning on November 5 and continuing on until Friday November 9.

Officially, the day of Diwali is November 7, and is celebrated in a similar vein to the November 5 fireworks night.

Fireworks and candles are lit for the big day, which also ushers in the Hindu New Year.

What is Diwali celebrated for?

Diwali is celebrated every year by a number of different religions, mainly those which originate in South Asia.

Named the ‘festival of light’, Diwali is a vibrant celebration over five days, with the official day of Diwali on November 7.

The other four days of the Diwali festival fall starting on November 5 with Dhanteras, November 6 with Naraka Chaturdasi, November 8 with Annakut, and the final day of Bhai Duj on November 9.

Each day comes with its own specific meaning and set of celebrations observed by people all over the world.

Diwali’s first day of Dhanteras is one of preparation, when families will decorate their house with rangoli (decorative art patterns) and often set candles at their doorstep.

The day is also one for shopping, and observers will often buy gold and silver as Dhanteras is seen as an auspicious occasion.

Naraka Chaturdasi is the eve of Diwali, when rice is used to make rangoli patterns in preparation for the main celebration.

Diwali, the ‘day of light’ which took place yesterday saw fireworks out in their thousands, and commemorates the day the Hindu Lord Rama rescued his wife from the demon Ravana following an epic battle.

Candles are lit and fireworks set off to show the triumph of good over evil.

Which religions celebrate Diwali?

Diwali is seen as a primarily Hindu festival, but is celebrated by a number of different religions.

The festival is highly popular in South Asia, where people of the Jain, Sikh and Bhuddist faiths also take part.

Festival celebrations and preparations take different shapes in different parts of the world however.

Indian revellers will often leave their doors open and light candles, welcoming the goddess Lakshmi into their home.

Otherwise they too will light candles and set off fireworks, in huge gatherings throughout the nation.

In the UK, the most prominent celebration is in Leicester, where one of the largest Hindu populations in the UK resides.

Leicester’s event lasts from October 28 to November 11, and takes place in the city’s golden Mile.

Fireworks, street parties and fairground rides mark the event, which is attended by 35,000 people every year.

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