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Wishing Everyone a Happy and Bright Diwali

Diwali 2021

1st November 2021

1 November 2021: This week is Diwali – known as the Festival of Light - which symbolises light winning over darkness and good over evil. It’s one of the main Hindu celebrations of the year which is also acknowledged and celebrated throughout the world by Sikhs, Jains, some Buddhists and multi-faith and folk religions.

Marking the start of the Hindu New Year, Diwali runs from the 2nd to the 6th November, with the main celebration day on the 4th November [it changes every year according to the lunar calendar].

This year, Diwali will be extra special, as people reconnect post-lockdown to celebrate with families and loved ones, take time for reflection, and engage in acts of kindness and giving.

The Five Days of Diwali

On the first night, people traditionally clean their homes in preparation for the festival. On the second day, people usually wake early, bathe and wear new clothes.
The festival’s peak is the third night. Each of the five nights is dedicated to a different deity, but Diwali Night also marks the darkest night of the lunar month. It’s on this night that Sita, as the goddess Lakshmi, is said to visit every home, so families light candles and lamps to show her the way. Lakshmi’s visit is said to bring prosperity, fertility, and good fortune. The third night of Diwali sees firework displays in Lakshmi’s honour, and rangoli (coloured rice or flowers laid out in intricate patterns) decorate the floors to welcome her in.The fourth day is to celebrate Lord Krishna defeating Indra, and people will mark it by creating their own ‘mountains’. The final day is for feasting.

The foods of Diwali

Throughout the week, families and friends visit each other to celebrate with meals and gifts. A feast is part of the tradition, as well as gifting Indian sweets including kaju katli, gulab jamun, and motichoor laddoo. Many households will cook snacks and sweets to be ready for any visitors, as well as the main feasting event!

Diwali gifts

At the feast, gifts are usually exchanged between friends and family. Traditional gifts include Diwali decorations and wall hangings, as well as sweets, clothes, and candle holders.

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