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Diwali, a Festival of Lights, is celebrated and enjoyed with great pomp by Indian communities all over the world every year. Diwali is a 5-day celebration of the triumph of illumination over darkness, wisdom over folly, and optimism over misery. The term 'Diwali' comes from the Sanskrit word 'Deepavali,' which means 'light' and 'row,' implying a row of lights, which is exactly what is seen in houses at this time—rows of lights in celebration of the festival.
This event is held on Amavasya, or 'no moon' day, and marks the start of the Hindu calendar's New Year. Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains all celebrate this day, which honours a historical individual or event. Whatever one's beliefs, it's a celebration of good triumphing over evil and a sign of new, promising beginnings.
There used to be a time in Indian culture when there was a celebration every day of the year—365 festivities in a year! The goal was to turn our entire lives into a party. There are probably about thirty or forty festivals left today. We are unable to even celebrate even those, thus people often only celebrate eight or ten festivals every year. Fun fact: Leicester's Golden Mile portion in the United Kingdom hosts the world's greatest Diwali festival outside of India.
Diwali celebrations achieves exactly that, illuminating homes and hearts all across the world. People's homes are lighted up with 'diyas' (earthen candles or little clay lamps) and the exteriors are typically showered with electric lights over the 5-day period. Detailed rangoli art, which are designs on the floor formed by either rice or coloured powder, may be found within the house. Neighbors exchange presents keeping focus on sweets, dried fruits, and other edible items. It's also a time to help those in need and freely contribute to people in the community who don't have much.
The scent of incense, the strong smell of burning crackers, and the odours from the kitchen fill the air. The diwali feast includes a variety of rich and sweet foods, and while dining out is popular, most families will prepare meals at home for when their friends arrive to exchange presents and watch fireworks.
Diwali festivities are noisy and vibrant for some, with individuals competing to see who can set off the loudest and brightest fireworks. Some people associate Diwali with the annual cleaning and decoration of their homes. And for some, it signifies the final of the sweets, the conclusion of a slew of Hindu festivals before you begin dieting in preparation for that New Year's Eve gown!
May this Diwali Festival bring you peace, wealth, success, good health, and much joy!
Team Eloit wishes you a Happy Diwali!