Diwali Trivia



Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is the most widely recognized Hindu festival and in 2014 it will be celebrated globally on October 23. In Tamil Nadu and South India, it will be on October 22.

Diwali is a shortened version of the Sanskrit term ‘Deepavali’, which means ‘a row of lamps’.

Diwali is known as the ‘Festival of Lights’ - it refers to the rows of earthen lamps celebrants place around their homes.

Diwali light symbolizes the victory of knowledge over ignorance, and goodness over evil. It further represents an awareness of God in our lives.

The popular legend in Hinduism associated with Diwali marks the day when Lord Rama returned from a forced exile after defeating Ravana, the ultimate force of evil, in His time.

In South India, Diwali is also believed to be the day when Lord Krishna annihilated Demon Narakasura and restored Dharma.

In addition to Hindus, Sikhs celebrate Diwali in commemoration of the release of the Sixth Guru, Hargobind, from captivity by the Mughal Emperor Jehangir.

Jains recognize Diwali as the day Lord Mahavira, the last of the Tirthankaras, attained Nirvana, or liberation, after his death in 527 BCE.

Diwali is celebrated over five days throughout India.

Abhayang Snan or ritual bathing is performed on the day by many Hindu communities. Bathing by applying special oils.

Sweets and dry fruits are given as gifts during the period to strengthen friendship and to alleviate all differences.

Each region in India has a special Diwali delicacy which is a must on the day and it is shared with all people.

Diwali marks the end of the Hindu calendar year in Gujarat and is celebrated as a day of thanksgiving and the beginning of the New Year by Gujaratis.

During Diwali people light small oil lamps, place them around the home, and pray for health, knowledge, and peace.

The rows of Diwali lamps symbolize the light within the individual that rids the soul of the darkness of ignorance.

Ganesha, the Lord of beginning, Goddess Lakshmi, Hindu Goddess of prosperity and wealth, and Lord Kubera, Hindu God of wealth, is worshipped in homes and also by merchants, shopkeepers, corporates and by all business men.

Goddess Kali is worshipped on Diwali in Bengal.

Gambling of playing cards on Diwali is encouraged in many regions as method to know the luck in the coming year.

Diwali is the release date for big budget movies and some of the most anticipated films in a year are released on Diwali in various languages in India.