Monday, October 24, 2011

Diwali / Deepavali Festival Resonates Across the Globe

Happy Diwali / Deepavali to Everyone who celebrates the festival of lights!


Diwali is a very important festival of the year and is celebrated among families of Hindus by performing traditional activities together in their homes. In India, the official holiday is called Deepavali.

Diwali evolved from within the Indian religions started as early as 527 BC by Mahavira (“Great Hero”).  It is the union with the Supreme being through Nirvana or moksha.

Historically, Deepavali and the celebratory activities up to the present time varies from region to region (festive lights, lanterns, fireworks, worship, gatherings, sharing of sweets), the highlight is the same – to rejoice in the Inner Light (Atman) or the underlying Reality of all things (Brahman).

“Diwali falls on the one new moon night between mid-October and mid-November. Deepavali is celebrated for five days according to the Hindu Calendar. It begins in late Ashvin (between September and October) and ends in early Kartika (between October and November). The first day is Dhan Teras. The last day is Yama Dvitiya, which signifies the second day of the light half of Kartika. Each day of Deepavali marks one celebration of the six principal stories associated with the festival.

The festival starts with Dhanteras on which most Indian business communities begin their financial year. The second day of the festival, Naraka Chaturdasi, marks the vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama. Amavasya, the third day of Deepavali, marks the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth in her most benevolent mood, fulfilling the wishes of her devotees. Amavasya also tells the story of Lord Vishnu, who in his dwarf incarnation vanquished the Bali, and banished him to Patala. It is on the fourth day of Deepawali, Kartika Shudda Padyami, that Bali went to patala and took the reins of his new kingdom in there. The fifth day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya (also called Bhai Dooj), and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes.” (Source:

Today the celebration is in different forms, many countries such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji, United Kingdom, United States and others celebrate this festival in retrospect to globalization where many people have integrated globally.

Diwali Celebration in California, USA - Source:

Coventry, UK - Source:
Deepavali Singapore Celebration - Source:
Diwali Philippines Celebration - Source:
October 26, 2011

Look around in the city near you where you can find a Diwali Festival, a firsthand experience to a tradition of a specific culture.