Diwali Facts

Deepavali | Festival of Lights

Our enlightening Diwali Facts will tell you about the colourful 'Festival of Lights' which will be celebrated on 12 November 2023.

Enlightening Diwali Facts

10 Diwali Facts

1. Diwali is the most important religious festival celebrated by followers of Hinduism. It is also called Divali, Deepavali or Deepawali and is commonly referred to as the Festival of Lights.

2. The Festival of Lights celebrates the Hindu New Year. It is a celebration of  the victory of light over darkness and the triumph of good over evil. 

Woman decorating for Diwali in Mumbai 2018 - image by Snehan Jeevan PailkarDiwali Decorations in Mumbai

3.This festival can last up to five days. Diwali takes place every year in late October or early November depending on the cycle of the moon. The festival starts two days before the new moon comes up. 

In 2023, the Diwali celebrations go from 10 November until 15 November. The main celebrations will take place on 12 November.

Diwali Street Decorations in SingaporeDeepavali Street Decorations in Singapore

4. The name Deepavali originates from the ancient Indian Sanskrit language and means 'row of lights'. 'Dipa' means 'Light' and 'avali' is the word for ‘row’.

5. There are various legends that refer to the festival. They traditionally involve the Hindu gods Rama, Lakshmi or Krishna. They all celebrate the victory of the good over the evil and this festival is a celebration of hope, happiness and peace.

Diwali celebrations of Indian FamilyFamily celebrating Diwali with sparklers

6. Originally Diwali was celebrated as a harvest festival in India, but today Diwali is celebrated as the Festival of Light by Hindus all over the world.

This festival is celebrated with sparklers, firecrackers and fireworks are held in many places.

Diwali Fireworks in Varanasi/India -image by ShutterstockDiwali Fireworks in Varanasi/India

7. At Diwali it is tradition to decorate and illuminate the homes, visit the local temple for prayers and share meals with families and friends. Children get small gifts and sweets. Traditional Diwali food includes sweets such as the delicious syrupy gulab jamun balls and other Indian sweets displayed below.

Typical Diwali SweetsDiwali sweets (clockwise from top left): Gulab Jamun, Karanji, Bundi Ladoo, Rasgulla, and Kaju Katli

8. Lighting candles, oil lamps and sparklers are the main customs at this festival. Indians light diyas which are candleholders or clay lamps that are used for decoration.

Homes and buildings are also decorated with rangoli decorations made with flowers, coloured sand or even coloured rice, flour or spices. 

Diwali Flower Rangoli decorations in a homeFlower rangoli decorations in a home

9. Statues of Lakshmi, the four-armed Hindu goddess of prosperity, and of Ganesha, the Hindu lord of success usually referred to as the 'Elephant God', are also cherished and decorated with flowers in many homes.

Diyas for DiwaliDiyas are typically put up

10. Larger Diwali celebrations outside India take place in Singapore's Little India district as well as in London and Leicester/ UK, Sydney/ Australia and Toronto/ Canada where some main roads are decorated with lights and the Hindu community gathers and showcases Indian traditions, crafts and Indian food at fairs and festival grounds.

Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists also celebrate the new year with a festival of light on these dates but have different legends and traditions referring to the event.

Diwali celebrations in Leicester UK - image by shutterstockDiwali celebrations in Leicester UK

How do families celebrate Diwali?

Last year we asked our young readers what their favourite festival was. In the following wonderful essays two students told us about their family celebrations at Diwali or Deepavali. You will find the essays here:

We hope you have enjoyed our Diwali Facts for Kids and wish all our friends who celebrate the Festival of Lights: "May the divine light spread hope, happiness, health and prosperity! Happy Diwali!" from all of us at Kids-World-Travel-Guide.com

Diwali Facts | Resources 

  • Das, Subhamoy. "When Is Diwali (Deepavali)? Dates for 2019 to 2025." Learn Religions. Last accessed 12 May 2022
  • Visit Leicester. "Diwali Leicester 2019." Visit Leicester. Last accessed 12 May 2022 - (Outdated calendar info, however, the Diwali background info is still spot on!)

Image Credits on Diwali Facts: Diwali Decorations in Mumbai by Snehal Jeevan Pailkar; My Incredible India by Ed Kaetan and others from Shutterstock.com and own images

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