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Explosions of light and colour: Diwali 2017


Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, will be celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists across the world on 19th October 2017

Diwali is the largest festival in India, with celebrations taking place  over five days; usually two days prior to the main day and two days after. Traditional earthen diyas or candles are lit and fireworks are set off. Many people also clean their homes during Diwali and decorate them with colourful rangoli artworks; which are created on the floor using coloured rice or powder. Often people also wear their finest clothes, light sparklers, and many different businesses in India start their financial new year during this time because it ties in with Lakshmi, who is the goddess of wealth.

So what is the festival of lights? 

Well, Diwali marks the defeat of light over darkness and good over evil. The night before is known as Narak Chaturdasi and relates to the day in which the Hindu demon Narakaasura died and people celebrated the return of the Hindu God, Lord Rama, and his wife after being exiled for 14 years. The Ramayana is the story of Lord Rama who triumphed and defeated the demon king Ravana after his wife, Sita, was kidnapped.

5 interesting facts about Diwali

  1. Over 800 million people celebrate Diwali in various different ways
  2. Diwali means “the row of lighted lamps (diyas)”
  3. Leicester hosts the biggest Diwali celebrations outside of India
  4. “Shubh Deepavail” is a greeting associated with Diwali, which means “Have an auspicious Diwali”
  5. The total cost of the fireworks used for Diwali is estimated to be around seven hundred million pounds
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