Diwali, or Hindu New Year, is celebrated by Hindus all across the world, honoring the victory of good over evil. The Diwali infographic below explains some of the important traditions families have while celebrating Diwali. Each of the words in our word cloud are also significant. Here’s why!
Diwali – While celebrated differently in various regions, Hindus generally celebrate 5 days of Diwali:
- Day One: Dhanteras (Day of fortune)
- Day Two: Naraka Chaturdasi (Day of knowledge) – also called Chhoti (Little) Diwali
- Day Three: Diwali (Day of light) – Main day of celebrations
- Day Four: Annakut (New Year)
- Day Five: Bhai Dhuj (Day of love between siblings)
Shubh Deepawali – The formal way to wish someone a Happy Diwali! Deepawali is also Sanskrit for “rows of lighted lamps”.
November 14 – Date of Diwali 2020. The date for Diwali is based on the Hindu Lunar calendar and varies each year. In 2021, Diwali will be on Thursday, November 4.
Rituals – people perform various religious and cultural rituals on Diwali (see common ones on the right side of the infographic).
Dhanteras – the first day of the Diwali celebrations.
Ganesha – Lord Ganesha is worshipped by many Hindus, especially in North India, on Diwali. Ganesha is considered the god of good beginnings and the remover of obstacles.
Marigolds – Marigolds, or genda phool, are a fragrant flower used in all parts of the Diwali celebrations from pujas to decorations to help welcome in goddess Lakshmi.
Celebrate – Diwali is a beautiful celebration to bring in the new year!
Lakshmi – along with Lord Ganesha, Lakshmi, the goddess of Wealth, is one of the main deities worshipped during Diwali. Many of the traditions and rituals performed during Diwali are to open the home in welcoming for goddess Lakshmi.
Gifts – families exchange money, clothes and gifts in celebration of Diwali.
Traditions – there are many Diwali rituals and traditions associated with the festival (see some common ones on the right side of the infographic).
Victory – one of the revered stories of Diwali, especially in North India, is that of Lord Rama’s victory over the evil demon Ravana. In Bengal, Hindus worship goddess Kali. In parts of South India, Hindus celebrate Diwali a day earlier, remembering the defeat of the demon Narakasura.
Decorations – Hindus clean and elaborately decorate their homes and business to invite in goddess Lakshmi.
Culture – Diwali is an important part of Hinduism and the Indian culture. It is celebrated worldwide by over 800 million people and is a national holiday in Trinidad & Tobago, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Guyana, Suriname, Singapore, Malaysia and Fiji.
Goodness – one of the main tenets of Diwali is to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
Puja – is a Hindu prayer ritual performed to honor the Hindu deities. Pujas are performed on all days of Diwali.
Festival of Lights – Diwali is also known as the Festival of Lights as diyas are lit all around homes and businesses in honor of the victory of light over darkness, as well as to invite in goddess Lakshmi.
Bhai Dhoj – the last day of Diwali honors the bond between siblings.
Hindu – Hinduism is one of the world’s major religions.
Rangoli – is an art form especially used during Diwali to create beautiful patterns of colored powder, rice, flour or petals. Rangoli are also part of decorations that invite goddess Lakshmi into Hindu homes and businesses.
Fireworks – families light fireworks to light the way for goddess Lakshmi.
Diyas – oil lamps or candles that are lit all around the house to invite goddess Lakshmi in. They are symbols of knowledge and goodness and are lit on all cultural and religious occasions.
Charity – many Hindus will perform acts of charity or give ‘daan’ in honor of Diwali.
Lotus – goddess Lakshmi is generally depicted as sitting or standing on the beautiful Lotus flower.
Prosperity – During Diwali, Hindus pray for prosperity for their families in the new year to come.
Happiness – Diwali is a time of happiness and celebration for Hindu families.
Gold – many Hindus will purchase gold, a symbol of wealth, to bring in the new year and to invite goddess Lakshmi into their homes.
Sweets – commonly passed out to visitors and family members to celebrate. Sweets are also offered to the gods during the various Diwali pujas.
It is worth noting that though Diwali is primarily a Hindu festival, it’s a special occasion in other religions as well. Jains celebrate Lord Mahavira’s attainment of moksha, the liberation of the soul. Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas to remember the release of prison of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind.