The festival of lights, Diwali or Deepawali is being celebrated all across India today and here are 8 lesser known facts about this day!
Fact #1 – Though Diwali is a Hindu festival but, it is also celebrated by the Sikh and the Jain community.
Fact #2 – The dates of Diwali are determined by the position of the Moon and usually falls between October and November. Also, Diwali marks the starting of the Hindu New Year.
Fact #3 – The word Diwali or Deepawali is a Sanskrit word which means “row of lights”. During Diwali, people decorate their homes with lights, candles and oil lamps (called diyas).
Fact #4 – It is believed that Diwali welcomes the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. And so, lights and lamps are lit to help her find the way into peoples’ homes to spread prosperity.
Fact #5 – In northern India, it is believed that Diwali is a celebration of good triumphing over evil. This is because, Lord Rama and his wife Sita returned to the city of Ayodhya, after defeating the evil king Ravana.
Fact #6 – Whereas, in Bengal people worship goddess Kali, the destroyer of evil forces. And, in Nepal people celebrate Lord Krishna’s victory over the wicked king Narakaasura.
Fact #7 – People make “rangoli” on the floor by the entrance of their homes. Rangolis are beautiful designs by using colourful powders and flowers.
Fact #8 – Apart from India, in the city of Leicester, in the United Kingdom, largest Diwali celebrations are held. Thousands of people gather on the streets to enjoy shows of light, music and dancing.
Go enjoy the festival of lights!