Diwali (or Divali) is the Indian festival of lights.
Diwali is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. It is celebrated to mark the beginning of the New Year. It’s a time for new beginnings and looking forward to the year ahead.
The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. Diwali means ‘row of lights’ in Sanskrit. The lights are intended to invite the presence of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth into the house. Another way they attract Lakshmi is through vibrant fireworks displays. As well as lights, people create colourful patterns on the floor or the ground using materials such as coloured rice, coloured sand, quartz powder or flower petals.to invite the gods into their homes. These are called Rangoli.
The Diwali festival is as important to Hindus as the Christmas holiday is to Christians. Diwali isn’t just a festival for Hindus – it’s also celebrated by Sikhs and Jains too. More than 800 million people celebrate the festival. People exchange gifts (often sweets) and cook food during the festival.