Hindu Festivals Calendar


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November 12, 2023

Diwali, Deepavali

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is one of the most significant and widely celebrated festivals in Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism. Known as the “Festival of Lights,” it typically falls in October or November and marks the Hindu New Year according to the lunar calendar.

The festival is celebrated over five days, with the main day of Diwali falling on the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. It signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.

In Hinduism, Diwali celebrates the return of Lord Rama, his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile and his victory over the demon king Ravana. In joyous celebration of their king’s return, the people of Ayodhya are said to have illuminated the kingdom with earthen diyas (oil lamps) and burst crackers.

Jains celebrate Diwali as the day when Lord Mahavira, the last of the Jain Tirthankaras, achieved Nirvana or Moksha. In Sikhism, Diwali commemorates the day Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh Guru, was freed from imprisonment along with 52 Hindu Kings.

The celebration involves lighting earthen lamps filled with oil or candles, decorating houses with colorful rangoli artworks, setting off fireworks, distributing sweets and gifts, feasting, and offering prayers (pujas) to deities, particularly Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

Diwali is a time for family gatherings, food, celebrations, and acts of charity. It also represents a spiritual “awakening,” or the awareness of one’s inner light. Despite being a religious celebration, Diwali is celebrated by many across the world due to its universal theme of joy, light, and the triumph of good over evil.


November 12, 2023
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