Want to learn more about Diwali, the Festival of Lights? This vibrant, five-day celebration takes place in India and in many other countries around the world between October and November. In 2023, Diwali is on November 12. We’ve put together this list of fun facts about Diwali you can share with others. From the origins of its luminous traditions to the global significance it holds today, these engaging insights will deepen your appreciation for this beautiful holiday.
Fun Facts About Diwali
Diwali is known as the Festival of Lights.
The festival of Divali is often called the “Festival of Lights” because it involves the lighting of lamps, candles, and colorful decorative lights, symbolizing the victory of light over darkness and good over evil.
Diwali is a time for families to come together and celebrate.
It’s considered a time for bonding, sharing meals, and creating lasting memories.
The date for celebrating Diwali varies each year.
Based on the Hindu lunar calendar, it usually falls in October or November. The main day of Diwali is celebrated on the 15th day of the Hindu month of Kartika.
Diwali is a five-day celebration.
Diwali is not just a one-day festival—it is a five-day celebration! Each day has its significance, rituals, and traditions. The main celebration of Diwali falls on the third day.
Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs celebrate Diwali.
While Diwali marks the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya for Hindus, it holds significance for the Jains and the Sikhs as well. For Jains, it’s a celebration of Lord Mahavira’s attainment of nirvana, and for Sikhs, it commemorates the release of Guru Hargobind Ji from Mughal imprisonment.
The word “Diwali” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Deepavali.”
It means “row of lights.”
Diwali is associated with a famous legend.
Diwali is associated with the legend of Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya after his 14-year exile and victory over the demon king Ravana.
People decorate for Diwali with beautiful oil lamps called “diyas.”
People light them to symbolize the spiritual victory of light over darkness. Watch an easy tutorial video on how to make diyas with flour!
In the region of Bengal, people celebrate Diwali as “Kali Puja.”
In West Bengal and some other regions, the annual celebration is dedicated to the goddess Kali, the destroyer of evil forces.
The Nepalese celebrate Lord Krishna’s victory.
In Nepal, a small country bordering northeast India, the Nepalese celebrate Lord Krishna’s triumph over “the wicked king Narakasura.”
Many enjoy making rangoli art during Diwali.
People create intricate and colorful rangoli designs outside their homes during Diwali. They use colored powders, rice, flower petals, or even colored sand to make rangoli.
Fireworks are a significant part of Diwali celebrations.
People light fireworks to symbolize the victory of light over darkness and to drive away evil spirits.
During Diwali, people enjoy eating sweets and desserts.
Families exchange sweets and offer them to guests. Popular Diwali sweets include laddoos, jalebi, barfi, and gulab jamun.
It’s customary to buy new clothes to wear during Diwali.
Wearing new and vibrant outfits symbolizes the renewal of life and the hope for a prosperous future.
Diwali is a time for rest.
Schools, offices, and businesses often close during Diwali, allowing people to celebrate with their families and loved ones. Some schools in New York City have even started closing for the holiday!
Card games and gambling are a traditional part of Diwali.
In some parts of India, it is traditional to engage in games and gambling during Diwali. People believe that playing and winning can bring good luck and prosperity in the coming year.
Kitchens get an upgrade before Diwali.
Several days before Diwali, people buy new kitchen utensils and other household items, considering it an auspicious time for new beginnings.
People deep-clean and decorate their homes during Diwali.
People believe it invites the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, into their homes. Check out this list of Diwali cleaning tips!
It’s common to purchase silver and gold during Diwali.
Diwali is considered an auspicious time for investments and purchases.
People around the world celebrate Diwali.
People celebrate this beautiful holiday not only in India but also in Indian communities around the world in countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. In fact, Leicester, a city in the United Kingdom, “holds the largest Diwali celebrations outside of India”!
During Diwali, people celebrate agricultural life.
Diwali is becoming more eco-friendly.
In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the environmental impact of fireworks. Some communities have opted for eco-friendly Diwali celebrations with fewer fireworks to reduce pollution.
Businesses and organizations get a new start during Diwali.
Diwali marks the beginning of the new financial year in India.
Some people perform Lakshmi Puja during Diwali.
These observers are seeking blessings for wealth and prosperity in the upcoming year. Interested in performing the ritual yourself? Check out these tips!
There’s an emphasis on the importance of giving and sharing during Diwali.
Charity and helping those in need are significant aspects of Diwali celebrations.
Diwali is a time for forgiveness and letting go of grudges.
People are encouraged to start anew with a clean slate.