Every religion marks a different Diwali story and verifiable occasion.
In one of the main stories in Hindu mythology, Diwali is the day Lord Rama, his wife Sita Devi and brother Lakshmana return to their homeland after 14 years in exile. The villagers lit a path for Rama, who had defeated the demon king Ravana. Reenactments of this story are part of celebrations in some regions.
One more Diwali story in Hindu folklore is that Diwali marks the day Ruler Krishna crushed the evil spirit Narakasura and liberated individuals of his realm. After he killed the evil presence, Master Krishna proclaimed it daily of celebrations. In certain pieces of India, individuals consume models of the devil rulers in the two stories as a component of the festival.
People also celebrate the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi during Diwali. As the goddess of prosperity, wealth and fertility, the romantic Diwali story says that she chose Lord Vishnu, one of Hinduism’s most important deities, to be her husband on the night of Diwali.
In other cultures, Diwali coincides with harvest and new year celebrations. No matter which Diwali story you celebrate, it’s always a day of new beginnings and light over darkness.
How is Diwali celebrated?
The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word “deepavali”, which means “rows of lighted lamps”. Households across India celebrate by decorating their space with small lamps called diyas and other colourful lights.
Individuals cover roads and structures in festive lighting and there are lively songs and dance. Stunning firecrackers go off, making an exhibition of commotion and light. This assists with frightening off underhanded spirits and praise the triumph of good over evil.
Many consider Diwali to be a fresh start, similar to the Lunar New Year in January. Many people clean, renovate, decorate their homes and buy new clothes in preparation for the upcoming year.
Diwali is also a time to settle debts and make peace. It’s common for people to reach out to loved ones who may have lost touch and organise family reunions. In the past, Indian and Pakistani soldiers have exchanged sweets along the disputed border, as a gesture of Diwali goodwill.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, Diwali is the festival for you. The most delicious tradition is the gifting of mithai (sweets). Friends and family exchange colourful boxes of Indian delicacies, like pedas, ladoos, jalebis, barfis and dried fruit and chocolates.