Rangoli decorations, made using coloured powder, are popular during Diwali
|Also called||Deepavali, Divali, Thee Vazhi, Festival of Lights|
|Observed by||Hindus, Sikhs, Jains among other faiths,
United States (New York City)
|Celebrations||Diya and Lighting, Home decoration, Shopping, Fireworks, Puja (Prayers), Gifts, Feast and Sweets|
|Begins||Dhanteras, 2 days before Diwali|
|Ends||Bhau-beej, 2 days after Diwali|
|Date||Decided by the Hindu Lunisolar calendar|
|2013 date||3 November (Sunday)12|
|2014 date||23 October (Thursday)|
|2015 date||11 November (Wednesday)|
|2016 date||30 October (Sunday)|
|Related to||Kali Puja, Diwali (Jainism), Bandi Chhor Divas|
Diwali (English pronunciation: //) also called the "festival of lights", is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year.34 The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.567 The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartik. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November.
Before Diwali night, people clean, renovate and decorate their homes.8 On Diwali night, Hindus dress up in new clothes or their best outfit, light up diyas (lamps and candles) inside and outside their home, participate in family puja typically to Lakshmi - the goddess of wealth and prosperity. After puja (prayers), fireworks follow,9 then a family feast including mithai (sweets), and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends. Diwali also marks a major shopping period in nations where it is celebrated.10
Diwali is an important festival for Hindus. The name of festive days as well as the rituals of Diwali vary significantly among Hindus, based on the region of India. In many parts of India,11 the festivities start with Dhanteras, followed by Naraka Chaturdasi on second day, Diwali on the third day, Diwali Padva dedicated to wife-husband relationship on the fourth day, and festivities end with Bhau-beej dedicated to sister-brother bond on the fifth day. Dhanteras usually falls eighteen days after Dussehra.
On the same night that Hindus celebrate Diwali, Jains celebrate a festival of lights to mark the attainment of moksha by Mahavira,1213 Sikhs similarly celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas,14 and Arya Samajists celebrate Shardiya Nav-Shasyeshti.citation needed
- 1 Etymology and history
- 2 Significance
- 3 Description and rituals
- 4 Regional variations within India
- 5 In other parts of the world
- 6 Economics of Diwali
- 7 Issues
- 8 Diwali greetings and prayers
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
|Diwali festivities include a celebration of sights, sounds, arts and flavors. The festivities vary between different regions.161718|
Diwali (Divali) is derived from the Sanskrit fusion word Dīpãvali (Sanskrit: दीप,1920 light, lantern, lamp) and (Sanskrit: आवली,21 series, line, row), meaning ‘row or series of lights’.22 It is also called festival of lights, because part of its celebration include millions of lights shining on housetops, outside doors and windows, around temples and other buildings in communities and countries where it is celebrated.16
Diwali dates back to ancient times in India, as a festival after the summer harvest, in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik. The festival is mentioned in Padma Purana, Skanda Purana and other ancient Sanskrit scriptures of Hindus; the diyas (lamps) are mentioned in Skanda Purana to symbolically represent parts of sun, the cosmic giver of light and energy to all life, who seasonally transitions in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik.1723
Diwali is one of the happiest of holidays, with significant preparations. People clean their homes and decorate them for the festivities. Diwali is one of the biggest shopping seasons in India; people buy new clothes for themselves and their families, gifts, appliances, kitchen utensils, small to big ticket items such as cars and gold jewelry.24 People also buy gifts for family members and friends which typically includes sweets, dry fruits and seasonal specialities depending on regional harvest and customs. It is also the period when little kids hear ancient stories, legends, myths and battle between good and evil, light and darkness from their parents and elders. Girls and women go shopping, and create rangoli and other creative patterns on floors, near doors and walkways. Youth and grown ups graduate to helping with lighting and preparing for patakhe (fireworks).1825
There is significant variation in regional practices and rituals. Depending on the region, prayers are offered before one or more deities, with most common being Lakshmi - the goddess of wealth and prosperity. On Diwali night, fireworks light up the neighborhood skies. Later, family members and invited friends celebrate the night over food and sweets.1825
Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs to mark historical events, stories or myths, but they all spiritually mark the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, hope over despair.52627
In the Yoga, Vedanta, and Samkhya schools of Hindu philosophy, a central belief is that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman. The celebration of Diwali as the "victory of good over evil", refers to the light of higher knowledge dispelling all ignorance, the ignorance that masks one's true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality. With this awakening comes compassion and the awareness of the oneness of all things, and knowledge overcomes ignorance. Diwali is the celebration of this Inner Light over spiritual darkness,2829 knowledge over ignorance, right over wrong, good over evil.3031
The religious significance of Diwali varies regionally within India, depending on the school of Hindu philosophy, regional myths, legends and beliefs.
Many see Diwali honouring the return of the hero Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana from exile, as told in the ancient Hindu epic called the Ramayana. To some, Diwali marks the return of Pandavas after 12 years of Vanvas and one year of agyatavas in the other ancient Hindu epic called the Mahabharata. Many other Hindus believe Diwali is linked to the celebration of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and wife of deity Vishnu. The five day festival of Diwali begins on the day Lakshmi was born from the churning of cosmic ocean of milk during the tug of war between the forces of good and forces of evil; the night of Diwali is the day Lakshmi chose Vishnu as her husband and then married him.1732 Some Hindus offer pujas to additional or alternate deities such as Kali, Ganesha, Saraswati, and Kubera. Other Hindus believe that Diwali is the day Vishnu came back to Lakshmi and their abode in the Vaikuntha; so those who worship Lakshmi receive the benefit of her good mood, and therefore are blessed with mental, physical and material well-being during the year ahead.33
In India's eastern region, such as West Bengal, Lakshmi is not worshipped, only deity Kali is worshipped and the festival is called Kali Puja.3435 In India's Braj and north central regions, deity Krishna is recognized. People mark Mount Govardhan, and celebrate legends about Krishna. In other regions, the feast of Annakoot is celebrated, with 56 or 108 different cuisines prepared, offered to Krishna, then shared and celebrated by the local community.
In West, South and certain Northern parts of India, the festival of Diwali marks the start of a new Hindu year. Along with Goddess Lakshmi, offerings are made to Ganesha who symbolizes ethical beginnings and fearless remover of obstacles; Saraswati who symbolizes music, literature and learning; and Kubera who symbolizes book keeping, treasury and wealth management.17
Diwali has special significance in Jainism. Lord Mahavira, the last of the Jain Tirthankar of this era, attained Nirvana or Moksh on this day at Pavapuri on 15 October 527 BCE, on Chaturdashi of Kartika. According to the Kalpasutra by Acharya Bhadrabahu, 3rd century BC, many gods were present there, illuminating the darkness.26 Therefore, Jains celebrate Diwali as a day of remembering Mahavira.
Diwali, for Sikhs, marks the Bandi Chhor Divas, when Guru Har Gobind Ji freed himself and Hindu Kings, from Fort Gwalior, from the prison of Islamic ruler Jahangir, and arrived at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Ever since then, Sikhs celebrate Bandi Choorh Divas, with the annual lighting up of Golden Temple, fireworks and other festivities.
Diwali is a five day festival in many regions of India, with Diwali night centering on the new moon - the darkest night - at the end of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin and the start of the month of Kartika. In the Common Era calendar, Diwali typically falls towards the end of October, or first half of November each year. The darkest night of autumn lit with diyas, candles and lanterns, makes the festival of lights particularly memorable.36 Diwali is also a festival of sounds and sights with fireworks and rangoli designs; the festival is a major celebration of flavors with feasts and numerous mithai (sweets, desserts),22 as well as a festival of emotions where Diwali ritually brings family and friends together every year.1825
Like major festivals of the world, rituals and preparations for the Indian festival Diwali begin days or weeks in advance. The festival formally begins two days before the night of Diwali, and ends two days after. Each day has the following rituals and significance:173738
Dhanteras kicks off the five day festival. Starting days before and through Dhanteras, houses and business premises are cleaned, renovated and decorated. Women and children decorate entrances with Rangoli - creative colorful floor designs both inside and in the walkways of their homes or offices. Boys and men get busy with external lighting arrangements and completing all renovation work in progress. For some, the day celebrates the churning of cosmic ocean of milk between the forces of good and forces of evil; this day marks the birthday of Lakshmi - the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, and the birthday of Dhanvantari - the Goddess of Health and Healing. On the night of Dhanteras, diyas (lamps) are ritually kept burning all through the nights in honor of Lakshmi and Dhanvantari.1732
Dhanteras is also a major shopping day, particularly for gold or silver articles. Merchants, traders and retailers stock up, put articles on sale, and prepare for this day. Lakshmi Puja (sometimes spelled Laxmi puja) is performed in the evening. Some people decorate their shops, work place or items symbolizing their source of sustenance and prosperity.
- Naraka Chaturdasi
Narak Chaturdasi is the second day of festivities, and is also called Choti Diwali. Typically, house decoration and colorful floor patterns called rangoli are made on or before Narak Chaturdasi. Special bathing rituals such a fragrant oil bath are held in some regions, followed by minor pujas. Women decorate their hands with henna designs. Families are also busy preparing homemade sweets for main Diwali.517
The third day is the main festive day. People wear new clothes or their best outfits as the evening approaches. Then diyas are lit, pujas are offered to Lakshmi, and to one or more additional deities depending on the region of India; typically Ganesha, Saraswati, and Kubera.17 Lakshmi symbolises wealth and prosperity, and her blessings are invoked for a good year ahead.40
Lakshmi is believed to roam the earth on Diwali night. On the evening of Diwali, people open their doors and windows to welcome Lakshmi, and place diya lights on their windowsills and balcony ledges to invite her in. On this day, the mothers who work hard all year, are recognized by the family and she is seen to embody a part of Lakshmi, the good fortune and prosperity of the household.22 Small earthenware lamps filled with oil are lighted and placed in rows by some Hindus along the parapets of temples and houses. Some set diyas adrift on rivers and streams. Important relationships and friendships are also recognized during the day, by visiting relatives and friends, exchanging gifts and sweets.5641
After the puja, people go outside and celebrate by lighting up patakhe (fireworks). The children enjoy sparklers and variety of small fireworks, while adults enjoy playing with ground chakra, Vishnu chakra, flowerpots (anaar), sutli bomb, rockets and bigger fireworks.42 The fireworks signify celebration of Diwali as well a way to chase away evil spirits.4344 After fireworks, people head back to a family feast, conversations and mithai (sweets, desserts).17
Diwali also marks the beginning of new year, in some parts of India, where the Hindu Vikrama calendar is popular. Merchants and shopkeepers close out their old year, and start a new fiscal year with blessings from Lakshmi and other deities.
The day after Diwali, is celebrated as Padwa. This day ritually celebrates the love and mutual devotion between the wife and husband.17 The husbands give thoughtful gifts, or elaborate ones to respective spouses. In many regions, newly married daughters with their husbands are invited for special meals. Sometimes brothers go and pick up their sisters from their in-laws home for this important day. The day is also a special day for the married couple, in a manner similar to anniversaries elsewhere in the world.
- Bhai Duj, Bhaiya Dooj
The last day of festival is called Bhai dooj (Brother’s second). It celebrates the sister-brother loving relationship, in a spirit similar to Raksha Bandhan but with different rituals. The day ritually emphasizes the love and lifelong bond between sibblings. It is a day when women and girls get together, perform a puja with prayers for the well being of their brothers, then return to a ritual of food-sharing, gift-giving and conversations. In historic times, this was a day in autumn when brothers would travel to meet their sisters, or bring over their sister’s family to their village homes to celebrate their sister-brother bond with the bounty of seasonal harvests.17
- The Marwari New Year is celebrated on the day of the festival of Diwali, which is the last day Krishna Paksha of Ashvin month & also last day of the Ashvin month of Hindu calendar.
- The Gujarati New Year is celebrated the day after the festival of Diwali (which occurs in mid-fall – either October or November, depending on the Lunar calendar). The Gujarati New Year is synonymous with sud ekam i.e. first day of Shukla paksha of the Kartik month -, which is taken as the first day of the first month of Gujarati lunar calendar. Most other Hindus celebrate the New Year in the Spring - Baisakhi. Gujarati community all over the world celebrates the New Year after Diwali to mark the beginning of a new fiscal year.
- The Nepal Era New year is celebrated by the ethnic Newari in the Kathmandu valley. The new year occurs in the fourth day of Diwali. The calendar was used as an official calendar until the mid 19th century. Most Nepalese celebrate the traditional new year in April i.e. Baisakhi.
To add to the festivas of Diwali, fairs (or 'melas') are held throughout India.45 Melas are found in many towns and villages. A mela generally becomes a market day in the countryside when farmers buy and sell produce, and rural families shop for clothes, utensils and other products. Girls and women dress attractively during the festival. They wear colourful clothing and new jewellery, and their hands are decorated with henna designs.
Among the many activities that take place at a mela are performances by jugglers, acrobats, snake charmers and fortune tellers. Food stalls are set up, selling sweet and spicy foods. There are a variety of rides at the fair, which include Ferris wheels and rides on animals such as elephants and camels. Activities for children, such as puppet shows, occur throughout the day.
In Andhra Pradesh, the festivities center over two days - Naraka Chaturthasi and Deepavali Amaavasya. The festivities start out at the crack of dawn and carry on well into the night. Most people make a trip to the local temple along with their families to seek the blessings of their respective Gods. The night sky is lit up with a scintillating array of noisy fireworks.
Diwali is one of the seven most important festivals of Andhra Pradesh. It is very popular with children who celebrate Diwali because of the excitement of bursting firecrackers. Special shops to sell firecrackers are set up in all towns, cities and bigger villages. There are some traditional customs followed such as buying new clothes for this festival. Buying new home or vehicles is considered auspicious. Special sweets are made too. Some eateries in Hyderabad make some delicious sweets during Diwali which will not be available at any other time. Meat and alcohol are generally not consumed. Tradition has it that Andhraites gift sweets during Diwali. Some areas host local stage story telling called Hari Katha. Some areas may put a huge Narakasura dummy made with fireworks. This will be burst by a person dressed as Lord Krishna or, more accurately, a costume of Satyabhama, the consort of Lord Krishna, who actually killed the demon Narakasura; an event that is celebrated as Diwali for generations. The evening sky of Diwali is a colourful sight to watch.
People clean/white-wash or paint/decorate their homes as it is a very auspicious day; to welcome the goddess of wealth and prosperity i.e. Lakshmi devi to their homes. Homes are lit up with hundreds of diyas and colourful Diwali Rangolis (link) adorn the doorways. After all this preparation all the members of the family perform the Lakshmi puja. Another custom involves decorating homes with paper figures.
Festivities cut across boundaries to move on from the small villages to the big towns, often beginning almost a month before Diwali. Sales of expensive silk saris, jewellery, ornaments, and household goods increase. From the poor to the rich, everyone indulges in the largest shopping spree of the year. Sweets, which are an integral part of any festival in Andhra Pradesh, are prepared or purchased from shops. The festival is full of messages depicting one or more aspects of human life, relationships, and ancient traditions.
Divali begins in Konkan and Goa on the day of Naraka Chaturdashi. The houses are cleaned and decorated with kandeel, lamps, mango leaves, and marigold flowers. The utensils are made to shine, filled with water, and decorated for the holy bath the following morning. On this day, paper-made effigies of Narakasura, filled with grass and firecrackers symbolising evil, are made.These effigies are burnt at around four o'clock in the morning the following day/ Firecrackers are burst, and people return home to take a scented oil bath. Lamps are lit in a line.The women of the house perform aarti of the men, gifts are exchanged, a bitter berry called kareet is crushed under the feet in token of killing Narkasur, symbolising evil and removal of ignorance. Different varieties of Poha and sweets are made and eaten with family and friends.47 Festivities continue till Tulsi Vivah and lamps are lit every evening. Celebrations include Lakshmi puja on the Diwali day, Krishna puja or Govardhan puja and cattle worship on Balipratipada day, Bhaubeej, and Tulsi vivah.
In Gujarat the Diwali celebrations take on a number of distinct characteristics.
Diwali occurs in the second (dark) lunar fortnight (Krishna Paksha) of the month of Ashvin (Gujarati: "Aaso") and the first (bright) fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of Kartika (Guj: "Kartik"). Aaso is the last month of the Gujarati calendar, and Kartik the first.
Celebrations start earlier in Gujarat than in the rest of India, commencing on Agyaras, the 11th day of the Krishna Paksha of Aaso. On the 12th day is Vagh Baras, the festival of the cow and the calf. On the 13th day is Dhanteras, the days Diwali starts in the rest of India. The 14th (elsewhere known as Naraka Chaturdashi in South India and Choti Diwali in the North) is celebrated as Kali Choudas. The 15th (new moon day) is Lakshmi Puja, celebrated throughout India.The next day, the first day of Shukla Paksha of Kartik, is Bestu Varsh, New Year's Day, start of the Gujarati calendar. The 2nd day of Kartik is Bhai Bij, the day Diwali ends. A further celebration takes place on the 5th day of Kartik, Labh Pancham.49
It is celebrated as Deepavali (deepa + aavaLi → light + row) in Kannada. It is celebrated on the previous and next day of Amavasye (New Moon Day) as Naraka Chaturdashi (before new-moon day) resembling Satyabhama's victory over Narakasura and as Bali Padyami, the first day of Kartika masa; inviting the greatest emperor of times, Bali Chakravarti to each and everybody's homes. The entire house is cleaned and new clothes are purchased for the entire family which is followed by lighting of oil lamps around the house and bursting firecrackers. The tradition in Kannada families is that all members gather together for the three days celebration. The thirteenth day of the Krishna Paksha is celebrated as "neeru tumbo habba" when the house is cleaned, painted afresh and the vessels are washed, bedecked and filled with fresh water for the festival. The next day is Naraka Chaturdashi, considered very auspicious. People wake up before dawn and apply oil on their scalp and body before taking bath, a ritual known as Tailabhyanjana.citation needed In parts of North Karnataka, this is followed by the women of the house performing Aarti on the men. The bursting of the crackers ensues. The next day is Lakshmi mahaapooje on Amavaasye (new-moon day) and then on the fourth day decorating the whole house and especially entrance with flowers and floor decoration to invite Bali to their homes; a special fort-entrance kind of thing is made on the entrances of every home which is made out of cow-dung (gOmaya) and Sandalwood (siri-chandana) which both have a high divine reverence in Kannada tradition. The day is of special importance to agricultural families as they celebrate Govardhan Pooja on this day. The houses are adorned with Keraka (replica of the Govardhana giri using cow dung) bejewelled with flowers and maize, ragi stalks. Fire-camps are kindled on both Naraka Chaturdashi and Bali Padyami days of Deepavali; where in respective community people's gathering is significant and huge firework bursting ceremony happens. Later the whole Kartika maasa (till next new-moon day) is celebrated by the Hindus of Karnataka by praying to a Kunti idol; this signifies that Kunti; the mother of great Pandavas has come to mother's (tavaru mane in Kannada) home for Kartika maasa.
In villages on the third day Bali Padyami also known for gOvpooje (reverence to cows) all the cattle in the home are decorated gorgeously and are prayed for good will of next coming year.citation needed also go melas happen the same day. The celebration of Diwali is marked by the lighting of innumerable lamps in every courtyard and the bursting of crackers. Sweetmeals, new clothes and spirit is there as in other festivals. Kajjaya is a special Deepavali delicacy in Bangalore region. Holiges, Chakkulis are prepared in all households. The time for rejoicing is mainly early morning and late night. The legend is that Lord Krishna killed demon Naraka in the wee hours of the morning, hence people burst crackers at this hour to mark the victory over evil. These hours of darkness bordering the waking hours are preferred as lights and crackers are the highlights of the festivities and these need darkness to have their illuminating effect. Hence people rise early and go to sleep late.
Deepavali falls on the preceding day of the New Moon in the Malayalam month Thulam (October–November). The celebrations are based on the legend of Narakasura Vadha – where Sri Krishna destroyed the demon and the day Narakasura died is celebrated as Deepavali.50 It commemorates the triumph of good over evil. Kerala is the only state in India where Diwali is not a major festival and the native people of Kerala do not celebrate Diwali.citation needed But places in Kerala where prominent Tamil, Bengali and various North Indian communities resides, Diwali Festival is celebrated with great zest. People of these communities arrange grand feasts and gaily-dressed men, women and children go to temples and fairs, visit friends and relatives.
In Maharashtra, Diwali starts from Vasubaras which is the 12th day of the 2nd half of the Marathi month Ashvin. This day is celebrated by performing an Aarti of the cow and its calf – which is a symbol of love between mother and her baby.
The next day is Dhana Trayodashi. Traders and business people give special importance to this festival. It is also considered an auspicious day for making important purchases, especially metals, including kitchenware and precious metals like silver and gold.
This is followed by Naraka Chaturdashi. On this day people get up early in the morning and take their bath before sunrise while stars are still visible. Bathing is an elaborate process on this day with abundant use of ‘utnas’, oils and perfumes, and is preceded by an Aarti performed on the person by some lady, usually mother or wife. The whole process is referred to as ‘abhyanga-snaan’.citation needed
The day after Naraka Chaturdashi comes Lakshmi-pooja. It occurs on Amavasya i.e. no moon day. The dark night is illuminated by lamps and at dusk firecrackers are burst. New account books are opened after a pooja. Generally the traders do not make any payments on that day to preserve Lakshmi in home. In every household, cash, jewellery and an idol of the goddess Lakshmi is worshipped. Friends, neighbours and relatives are invited over and celebrations are in full swing. The broom used to clean one's house is also worshipped as a symbol of Lakshmi in some places.citation needed
Bali Pratipada is the 1st day of the new monthcitation needed – Kartik in the Hindu calendar. It marks the start of Hindu financial year. Its a special day for Husband and wife. The wife puts tilak on her husbands forehead and he gives her an expensive gift. In recent times there is a growing trend of organising a cultural event called 'Diwali Padwa' early in the morning.
Bhau-beej – it is the time when the bond of love between a brother and sister is further strengthened. The sister asks God for her brother(s)' long and successful life while she receives presents from her beloved brothers. On these days People makes 'Faral' like Chakali, Laddu, Karanji, Chiwada and other festive foods.
Diwali is celebrated with great joy. Rows of oil lamps, candles adorn the thresholds of all houses. Firecrackers are burst, sweetmeals are relished and distributed. Some people also worship family goddess. Tarpanam is done in the morning of diwali. All the members of the household gather together just after dusk. A rangoli (Muruja) of a sailboat is made on the ground. The boat has seven chambers in north, ten chambers in east, and twelve chambers in south. The east chamber are for gods, north chambers for Rishi (gurus, teachers), and the south chambers are dedicated to one's ancestors and forefathers. Over the drawing of each different chamber several items are kept – cotton, mustard, salt, asparagus root, turmeric, sweets, cakes and a wild creeper. Over the central chamber are the offerings meant for [prasad]. Perched over the prasad is a jute stem with a cloth wick tied around the edge. It is lit at the beginning of the puja. All members of the family hold a bundle of jute stems in their hands, Lighting their respective bundles from the flame on the rangoli, they raise them skywards to their forefathers chanting:
Badabadua ho andhaara e asa Aluaa e Jaao
Baaisi pahacha e Gadagadau thaao
The prayer means - oh our ancestors, seers and gods, you came on the dark night of Mahalaya, and now it is time for you to depart for heaven, so we are showing light, may you attain peace in abode of Jagannatha. Beside the rangoli, a mortar and pestle and a plough are also kept and worshiped. After the puja and offerings, the family celebrates Diwali festival by bursting firecrackers. As in other regions, most people prefer to celebrate it in their own homes, though family gatherings are also common. For Diwali houses are brightly lit, with the doors and windows kept open as Lakshmi is supposed to visit every home, and you can't afford to leave it dark and abandoned. Various kinds of Pithas are prepared and given to the deities and forefathers, and enjoyed with family and friends. The ritual of Kali Puja is a famous affair in Puri, Bhadrak, Rourkela, Cuttack &Jajpur area.
Known as Deepavali(தீபாவளி), in Tamil Nadu (தீப + ஆவளி = தீபாவளி meaning series of lights52). It commemorates the death of Narakasura at the hands of Lord Sri Krishna. It is believed that Narakasura, a malevolent demon, tortured common people and they prayed to lord Krishna to defeat him. The people then celebrated narakasura's defeat with sparkles, lights and crackers. This celebration was continued down the generations as deepavali. The day begins with an early morning oil bath, wearing new clothes, bursting of crackers, visiting Lord Ganesha, Lord Vishnu and Shiva temples. The exchange of sweets between the neighbours, visiting the relations, preparing Deepavali special sweets are tradition of the day.
Typical Deepavali celebrations begin with waking up early in the morning, before sun rise, followed by an oil-bath. The bathing tradition involves extensive massaging of warm til-oil containing pepper corns, betel leaves. New clothes are typically worn as a part of celebrations. After the bath, a home-made medicine known as "Deepavali Lehiyam" is consumed, which is supposed to aid in soothening digestive problems that may ensue due to feasting that occurs later in the day. Extensive use of sparkler, crackers and lights, much like the rest of the world where Deepavali is celebrated.
Diwali is the most important festival in this predominantly Hindu state and is celebrated with great vigor and gaiety. Diwali is celebrated in memory of Lord Rama's victory over the demon king Ravana and his subsequent homecoming to Ayodhya after 14 years in exile. People wear colorful clothes throughout the Diwali festival, and enthusiasm is visible over the entire festival. The ghats of Varanasi come alive with thousands of brightly lit earthen lamps. Visitors throng in large numbers to watch this. Fairs and art festivals are held in the state, a venue for fun and shopping. Other celebrations, such as puja, fireworks, sweets and gifts exchange are similar to the rest of India.
In this region, Diwali marks53 the killing of Narakasura: Celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi, one day before Diwali, it commemorates the killing of the evil demon Narakasura, who wreaked havoc. In different versions, either Krishna or Krishna's wife Satyabhama killed Narakasura during the Dwapara yuga. The festival is celebrated over six days. It starts with Govatsa Dwadashi. Go means cow and vatsa means calf. Dwadashi means the 12th day. On this day the cow and calf are decorated and worshipped.citation needed The story associated with this day is that of King Prithu, son of the tyrant King Vena. Due to the ill rule of Vena, there was a terrible famine and earth stopped being fruitful. Prithu chased the earth, who is usually represented as cow, and ‘milked’ her, meaning that he brought prosperity to the land. On second day, people shop for utensils, clothes, gold and other items. The third day is called Chaturdashi, the day on which the demon Narakasura was killed by Krishna – an incarnation of Vishnu. It signifies the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. The day is celebrated with puja, fireworks, and feast. The fourth day, is Diwali night, celebrated like rest of India. The fifth day is Govardhan Puja, celebrated as the day Krishna defeated Indra by the lifting of Govardhana hill to save his kinsmen and cattle from rain and floods. Symbolic mountains of food are prepared representing the Govardhan hill lifted by Krishna. The food is first offered to the deity, then shared in the community.citation needed The last day is Yama Dwitiya where brothers and sisters meet to mark their bond, love and affection for each other. If sister is married and lives in a distant area, the brothers typically visit their sisters’ place on this day and usually have a meal there. The brothers also bring and give gifts to their sisters.
Kali Puja is light-up night for West Bengal, Mithila region of Bihar & Assam. Kali Puja coincides with the festival of Diwali (pronounced Dipaboli in Bengali), (in Maithili, it is known as Diya-Baati) where people light diyas/candles in memory of the souls of departed ancestors. The goddess Kali is worshipped, not Lakshmi, for whole night on one night during this festival. The festival is popularly called Kali puja, not Diwali. Kali puja is also known by the names of Shyama puja or Nisha puja in parts of the Mithila region and West Bengal.
Diwali is celebrated around the world, particularly in countries with significant populations of Hindu, Jain and Sikh origin. These include Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, the Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. With more understanding of Indian culture and global migration of people of Indian origin, the number of countries where Diwali/Deepavali is celebrated has been gradually increasing. While in some countries it is celebrated mainly by Indian expatriates, in others it is becoming part of the general local culture. In most of these countries Diwali is celebrated on the same lines as described in this article with some minor variations. Some important variations are worth mentioning.
Deepavali is a federal public holiday throughout Malaysia. In many respects it resembles the traditions followed in the Indian subcontinent. 'Open houses' are held where Hindu Malaysians (of all ethnic groups like Tamils, Telugus and Malayalees) welcome fellow Malaysians of different races and religions to their house for a scrumptious meal. Diwali in Malaysia has become an occasion for goodwill and friendly ties between religious and ethnic groups in Malaysia.
Diwali is known as "Tihar" or "Swanti". It is celebrated during the October/November period. Here the festival is celebrated for five days and the traditions vary from those followed in India. On the first day (Kaag tihar), crows are given offerings, considering them to be divine messengers. On the second day (Kukur tihar), dogs are given food for their honesty. On the third day, Laxmi puja is performed. This is the last day according to Nepal Sambat, so many of the businessmen clear their accounts on this day and on finishing it, worship goddess Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. The fourth day is celebrated as new year. Cultural processions and other celebrations are observed in this day. The Newars celebrate it as "Mha Puja", a special ritual in which the body is worshipped to keep it fit and healthy for the year ahead on this day. On the fifth and final day called "Bhai Tika", brothers and sisters meet and exchange gifts.
In Nepal, family gathering is more significant during Diwali. People in the community play "Deusi and Bhailo" which is a kind of singing and dancing forming a group. People go to all the houses in the community and play songs and dance, and give blessings to the visited house, whereas the home owner gives gifts like rice, Roti, fruits and money. After the festival, people donate some part of the collected money and food to the charity or welfare groups and with the rest of the money and food, they go for a picnic. People also play swing called Dore Ping made out of thick ropes and Pirke Ping or Rangate Ping made out of wood.
Deepavali is a gazetted public holiday. Observed primarily by the minority Indian community (Tamils), it is typically marked by a light-up in the Little India district, the heart of the Indian community. Apart from the light-up, other activities such as bazaars, exhibitions, parades and concerts will also take place in Little India. The Hindu Endowment Board of Singapore along with Singapores' government organises many of these cultural events during this festive period.55
This festival, a public holiday in the island nation, is also called "Deepavali" and is celebrated by the Tamil community. On this day, it is traditional for people to take an oil bath in the morning, wear new clothes, exchange gifts, performing Poosai (Pūjā), and a visit to the Koil (Hindu temple) is normal.note 1 Burning of firecrackers in the evening of the festival is a common practice of this festival. Hindus light oil lamps to invite the blessings of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and to banish any evil from the household for once and for all. The festival is marked by illumination, making of toys of enamel and making of figures out of crystal sugar popularly known as Misiri. Sri Lanka's celebration include many of the traditional aspects of Deepavali such as games, fireworks, singing and dancing, however the tradition of a large meal, family reunions and fireworks are admirably preserved.
In Australia, Diwali is celebrated publicly among the people of Indian origin and the local Australians in Melbourne. On 21 July 2002 an organisation "The Australian Indian Innovations Incorporated" (AIII) consisting of a conglomerate of independent organisations and individuals was formed to celebrate Indian festivals in Melbourne. AIII facilitated opportunities to depict the cultural kaleidoscope of India and assist Indians in Melbourne to showcase Indian art, culture, style, traditions and food via activities, seminars, festivals, fairs and events. The Inaugural Diwali Festival-2002, was held at Sandown Race Course on Sunday 13 October 2002. Since then until October 2008, about 140000 people visited this Australian Indian cultural extravaganza filled with culture, fun and cuisine. This 10-hour festival depicts India through 50 stalls, 10 food stalls and an 8-hour cultural programme with DJ, children's rides and spectacular fireworks over the last seven years.
Other place where Diwali is celebrated in Melbourne is Sri Shiva Vishnu Temple, Carrum Downs. Food stalls are present and children fun rides. Later on in the evening a spectacular fireworks show is displayed.
In Trinidad and Tobago, communities all over the islands get together and celebrate the festival. One major celebration that stands out is the Diwali Nagar, or Village of the Festival of Lights. It features stage performances by the east Indian cultural practitioners, a folk theatre featuring skits and plays, an exhibition on some aspect of Hinduism, displays by Hindu religious sects and social organisations, nightly worship of Lakshmi, lighting of deeyas, performances by schools related to Indian culture, and a food court with Indian and non-Indian vegetarian delicacies. The festival culminates with fireworks displays ushering in Diwali. Thousands of people participate.citation needed
In Fiji, Diwali is a Public Holiday and is a religious event celebrated together by Hindus (who constitute close to a third of Fiji's population), and culturally amongst members of Fiji's races and is a time in the year that is greatly looked forward to. Originally celebrated by imported indentured labourers from the Indian subcontinent during British rule in the then Colony of Fiji during the 19th century, it was set as a holiday at independence in 1970 as the government wished to set aside one religious public holiday each for Fiji's three largest religions, i.e., Christianity, Hinduism and Islam.
Diwali in Fiji is often remarked by people from India as being observed on a larger scale then Diwali celebrations in India, as fireworks and Diwali related events begin at least a week before the actual day. Another unique feature is the cultural celebration of Diwali (aside from its traditionally religious celebration) where Fijians of Indian origin or Indo-Fijians, whether Hindu, Christian, Sikh or even Muslim along with the other cultural groups in Fiji celebrate Diwali as a time for sharing with friends and family as well as signalling the beginning of the Holiday season in Fiji. On the commercial side, Diwali is a time for many retail sales and giveaways. Diwali celebrations in Fiji have taken on a flair of its own, markedly different from celebrations on the Subcontinent.
Diwali marks a time for cleaning and buying new and special clothes for the celebrations amongst cultural groups along with dressing up in Saris and other Indian clothing, to work the day before. Homes are cleaned and Oil lamps or diyas are lit. Decorations are made around the home with an array of coloured lights, candles and paper lanterns, as well as the use of religious symbols formed out of coloured rice and chalk. Invitations are made to family, friends and neighbours and houses are opened. Gifts are made and prayers or pooja are made by Hindus. Sweets and vegetable dishes are often eaten during this time and fireworks are fired for days before and after Diwali.
In New Zealand, Diwali is celebrated publicly among many of the South Asian diaspora cultural groups. A large group that celebrates Diwali in New Zealand are members of the Indo-Fijian communities who have migrated and settled there. There are main public festivals in Auckland and Wellington, with other events around the country becoming more popular and visible. An official reception has been held at the New Zealand Parliament since 2003.57 Diwali is celebrated by Hindus. The festival signifies the triumph of light over darkness, justice over injustice, good over evil and intelligence over ignorance. Lakshmi Mata is worshiped. Lakshmi Mata is the goddess of light, wealth and beauty. Special Divali foods are barfi and Prasad.
In Britain, Hindus celebrate Diwali with great enthusiasm. People clean and decorate their homes with lamps and candles. A popular type of candle is a diya. People also give each other sweets such as laddoo and barfi, and the different communities may gather for a religious ceremony and get-together. It is also an important time to contact family in India and perhaps exchange gifts.
The festival of Diwali has begun to find acceptance into the broader British national consciousness as more non-Hindus appreciate and celebrate Hinduism on this occasion.5960 Over the past decade national and civic leaders such as Prince Charles have attended Diwali celebrations at some of UK’s prominent Hindu temples, such as the Swaminarayan Temple in Neasden, using the occasion to commend the Hindu community’s contributions to British life.616263 In 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife joined thousands of worshipers at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden to celebrate Diwali and the Annakut festival marking the Hindu New Year.64 Since 2009, Diwali has been celebrated every year at 10 Downing Street, the residence of the British Prime Minister.65 The yearly celebration, begun by Gordon Brown and continued by David Cameron is one of the most anticipated events hosted by the British Prime Minister.66
Leicester plays hosts to some of the biggest celebrations outside of India.67 Diwali also coincides with British Bonfire Night traditions on 5 November. In the East End of London, a kind of joint festival has evolved where everyone enjoys the same fire and fireworks for their own diverse reasons.citation needed
It was first celebrated in the White House in 2003 and was given official status by the United States Congress in 2007 by the former president George W. Bush.6970 Barack Obama became the first president to personally attend Diwali at the White House in 2009. On the eve of his first visit to India as the president of United States, Obama released an official statement sharing best wishes with "those celebrating Diwali."71
The Diwali Mela in Cowboys Stadium boasted an attendance of 100,000 people in 2009. In 2009, San Antonio became the first U.S. city to sponsor an official Diwali celebration including a fireworks display, in 2012, over 15,000 people attended.72 In 2011, The Pierre in New York City, now operated by Tata Group's Taj Hotels, hosted its first Diwali celebration.73 There are about 3 Million Hindus in United States.74
On this festive occasion, Hindu, Jain and Sikh communities also mark charitable causes, kindness, and for peace. For example, at the international border, every year on Diwali, Indian forces approach Pakistani forces and offer traditional Indian sweets on the occasion of Diwali. The Pakistani soldiers anticipating the gesture, return the goodwill with an assortment of Pakistani sweets.75
Diwali marks a major shopping period in India.10 In terms of consumer purchases and economic activity, Diwali is the equivalent of Christmas in the west. It is traditionally a time when households purchase new clothing, home refurbishments, gifts, gold and other large purchases. The festival celebrates Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and investment, spending and purchases are considered auspicious.7677 Diwali is a peak buying season for gold and jewelry in India.7879 It is also a major sweets, candy and fireworks buying season. At retail level, about US$ 800 million (INR 5,000 crores) worth of firecrackers are consumed in India over the Diwali season.80
There has been growing concern and questions on the environmental and health impact of Diwali, as with other major festivals of the world. Air pollution and burn injuries from fireworks are two most studied issues.
Scholars81 report that air pollution worsens not as much during fireworks, but after fireworks celebration is over, with peak PM2.5 about four times worse than pre-Diwali levels, and average levels about two times a normal day. This study indicated that there is high accumulation of PM2.5 generated due to fireworks on Diwali festival which remains suspended in the air. The peak pollution lasts for about one day, and the pollutant concentrations return to background levels after 24 hours. Attri et al.82 report ground level ozone pollution is also formed Diwali, as with fireworks celebrations around the world on new year eve or respective national Independence Day. The dispersal and decay times for increased ground level ozone is also about one day.
There is an increase in burn injuries in India during Diwali from fireworks. A firework called anar (fountain) has been found to cause 65% of the injuries. Adults, not children, are typical victims. Newspapers advise use of cold water splash immediately after burn, which along with proper nursing of the wound helps reduce complications. Vast majority of burns are Group I type burns (minor) requiring outpatient care.8384
This is how people wish each other Happy Diwali in different Languages:
- "Shubha Deepawali" शुभ दीपावली: Greeting in Nepali, Hindi and Sanskrit.
- "Shubh Diwali" / Diwali ki Shubhkamnayein (दिवाली की शुभकामनाएं): Greeting in Hindi
- Diwali Mubarak (દીવાળી મુબારક): Greeting in Gujarati
- Shubh Diwali / Diwalichya hardik Shubhechha (शुभ दिवाली / दिवाळीच्या हार्दिक शुभेच्छा ): Greeting in Marathi
- Deepavali Nalvazhthukal (தீபாவளி நல்வாழ்த்துகள்) :Greeting in Tamil
- Deepavali Shubhakankshalu (దీపావళి శుభాకా౦క్షలు) :Greeting in Telugu
- Deepavali Aashamsagal ( ദീപാവലി ആശംസകള് ): Greeting in Malayalam.
- Deepavali Habbada Shubhashayagalu (ದೀಪಾವಳಿ ಹಬ್ಬದ ಶುಭಾಶಯಗಳು): Greeting in Kannada
- Tuhanu diwali diyan boht boht vadhaiyan (ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਦਿਵਾਲੀ ਦੀਆਂ ਬਹੁਤ ਬਹੁਤ ਵਧਾਈਆਂ ਹੋਣ ): Greeting in Punjabi
- Subho Deepabalir Preeti O Subechsha (শুভ দীপাবলীর প্রীতি ও শুভেচ্ছা) :Greeting in Bengali
- Deepavalira Anek Shubhechha (ଦୀପାବଳିର ଅନେକ ଶୁଭେଛା) :Greeting in Oriya
- "Happy Diwali!" :Greeting in English
Asato ma sat gamaya | (असतो मा सद्गमय ।)
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya | (तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।)
Mrityu ma amrutam gamaya | (मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।)
Om shanti shanti shantihi || (ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥)
From untruth lead us to Truth.
From darkness lead us to Light.
From death lead us to Immortality.
Om Peace, Peace, Peace.
- In Sri Lanka, this festival is largely celebrated by the Tamil community scattered in different areas of the island but mostly concentrated in the North and in the East.
- "Interfaith Calendar". BBC. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- "Diwali/Deepavali in India". Time and Date AS. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) ISBN 0-19-861263-X - p.540 "Diwali /dɪwɑːli/ (also Divali) noun a Hindu festival with lights...".
- Diwali Encyclopedia Britannica (2009)
- Diwali - Celebrating the triumph of goodness Hinduism Today (2012)
- Jean Mead, How and why Do Hindus Celebrate Divali?, ISBN 978-0-237-534-127
- Vera, Zak (February 2010). Invisible River: Sir Richard's Last Mission. ISBN 978-1-4389-0020-9. Retrieved 26 October 2011. "First Diwali day called Dhanteras or wealth worship. We perform Laskshmi-Puja in evening when clay diyas lighted to drive away shadows of evil spirits."
- Pramodkumar (March 2008). Meri Khoj Ek Bharat Ki. ISBN 978-1-4357-1240-9. Retrieved 26 October 2011. "It is extremely important to keep the house spotlessly clean and pure on Diwali. Goddess Lakshmi likes cleanliness, and she will visit the cleanest house first. Lamps are lit in the evening to welcome the goddess. They are believed to light up her path."
- Solski, Ruth (2008). Big Book of Canadian Celebrations. S&S Learning Materials. ISBN 978-1-55035-849-0. Retrieved 26 October 2011. "Fireworks and firecrackers are set off to chase away evil spirits, so it is a noisy holiday too."
- India Journal: ‘Tis the Season to be Shopping Devita Saraf, The Wall Street Journal (August 2010)
- Karen Bellenir (1997), Religious Holidays and Calendars: An Encyclopedic Handbook, 2nd Edition, ISBN 978-0780802582, Omnigraphics
- Sharma, S.P.; Gupta, Seema (2006). Fairs and Festivals of India. Pustak Mahal. p. 79. ISBN 978-81-223-0951-5.
- Upadhye, A. N. (Jan.-Mar. 1982). "Mahavira and His Teachings". In Cohen, Richard J. Journal of the American Oriental Society (American Oriental Society) 102 (1): 231–232. doi:10.2307/601199. JSTOR 601199.
- "Indian Government Holiday Calendar". National Portal of India. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
- Frank Salamone (2004), Encyclopedia of Religious Rites, Rituals and Festivals, ISBN 978-0415880916, Routledge, pp 112-113, 174, 252
- Tracy Pintchman (2005), Guests at God's Wedding: Celebrating Kartik among the Women of Benares, State University of New York Press, ISBN 0-7914-6596-9, pages 59-65
- Deborah Heiligman, Celebrate Diwali, ISBN 978-0-7922-5923-7, National Geographic Society, Washington DC
- दीप Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Spoken Sanskrit, Germany (2009)
- Monier Monier-Williams. Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Entry for दीप. p. 481.
- आवली Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Spoken Sanskrit, Germany (2009)
- James G. Lochtefeld, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M, Rosen Publishing, Vol 1, ISBN 0-8239-3179-1, see Diwali, pages 200-201
- James G. Lochtefeld, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M, Rosen Publishing, Vol 1, ISBN 0-8239-3179-1, see Kartik, pages 355
- Dianne MacMillan (1997), Diwali: Hindu Festival of Lights, Enslow Publishers, ISBN 978-0894908170
- Suzanne Barchers (2013), The Big Book of Holidays and Cultural Celebrations, Shell Education, ISBN 978-1425810481
- Jacobi, Hermann (1884). Sacred Books of the East. 22: Gaina Sutras Part I.
- Jean Mead, How and why Do Hindus Celebrate Divali?, ISBN 978-0-237-534-127, pages 8-12
- Diwali, India's Festival of Light R.M. Hora, National Geographic (2011)
- Hindu Festivals Hinduism Today (2010)
- Thompson, Elizabeth Kelley (2013), Shouldn't Their Stories Be Told In Their Voices: International Students’ Experiences of Adjustment Following Arrival to the U.S., Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee
- Carol Plum-Ucci (2007), Celebrate Diwali, Enslow Publishers, ISBN 978-0766027787, page 39-57
- Karen Pechilis (2007), The Journal of Asian Studies, 66(1), pp 273-275
- Diwali History Indian Express (2007)
- BUCK, C. (2008), HINDU FESTIVALS, Festivals In Indian Society (2 Vols. Set), Vol 1, ISBN 81-8324-113-1
- Holm, J. (1984), Growing up in Hinduism, British Journal of Religious Education, 6(3), pages 116-120
- J Gordon Melton, Religious Celebrations: An Encyclopedia of Holidays Festivals Solemn Observances and Spiritual Commemorations, ISBN 978-1598842050, see Diwali, Constance Jones (2011), ABC-CLIO, pp 252-255
- Note: there are regional variations, which are explained in a separate section.
- Diwali, the festival of lights Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India (2012)
- Welcome Goddess Lakshmi with a rangoli Shivangani Dhawan, The Times of India (26 October 2011)
- /www.indiaexpress.com/faith/festivals/dhistory.html Diwali History
- John Bowker, ed., Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Religions (Oxford UP, 2000), See Festivals
- Light up your day The Hindu (28 October 2013)
- Petrillo, Valerie (28 May 2007). Asian American History. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 978-1-55652-634-3. Retrieved 26 October 2011. "There are firecrackers everywhere to scare off evil spirits and contribute to the festive atmosphere."
- DeRocco, David; Dundas, Joan; Ian Zimmerman (1996). The International Holiday & Festival Primer. Full Blast Productions. ISBN 978-1-895451-24-5. Retrieved 26 October 2011. "But as well as delighting the spectators, the fireworks are believed to chase away evil spirits."
- Kadowala, Dilip (1998). Diwali. London: Evans Brothers Limited. ISBN 0-237-51801-5.
- Aline Dobbie, India, Chapter 3, ISBN 978-0954848026, Melrose Books
- Sakhardande, Prajal. "Diwali and the Narkasur Battle". The Navahind times. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- Til oil bath marks Chhoti Diwali celebrations The Times of India (November 3, 2013)
- "Gujarat goes on standby mode in Diwali week as holidays extended on Gujarati New Year, Bhai Beej". Economic Times. 12 November 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- Historical studies in Kerala – M. G. S. Narayanan, K. K. N. Kurup, M. G. S. Narayanan ()
- Diwali 2013: Hindu Festival Of Lights Celebrated All Over The World Nadine DeNinno, International Business Times (November 02 2013)
- Haribhakt, Pandit Lalit Kumar. "Events Lead to Diwali Celebration".
- Deepavali, the festival of lights Little India, Singapore (2013)
- Deepavali in Singapore Little India (2012)
- Diwali Indian Festival of Light 2013 Federation Square, Multicultural Festivals Melbourne, Australia (October 26, 2013)
- Johnson, Henry; Figgins, Guil (2005). "Diwali Downunder: Transforming and Performing Indian Tradition in Aotearoa/New Zealand". New Zealand Journal of Media Studies 9 (1): 25–35. ISSN 1173-0811.
- Leicester Diwali celebrations draw large crowds BBC News (3 November 2013)
- Roy, Amit (25 October 2011). "Dazzle at downing, colour at commons". Mumbai Miday. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- "Transcript of the Prime Minister's Diwali reception speech". Gov.UK. Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- PTI (10 November 2007). "Prince Charles, Camilla celebrate Diwali in UK". Times of India. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- "Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall Celebrate Diwali at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London". www.mandir.org. BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- Thompson, Jessica Cargill. "Seven wonders of London: BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir". Time Out London. Time Out Group. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- Jones, Toni (4 November 2013). "Samantha Cameron glitters in a spectacular autumnal sari as she celebrates Diwali on visit to Hindu temple". Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
- PTI (17 October 2009). "Brown celebrates Diwali at 10, Downing Street, in a 'historic' first". Times of India. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- Roy, Amit (25 October 2011). "Dazzle at downing, colour at commons". Mumbai Miday. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- "Diwali – The Festival of Light". Leicester City Council.
- Diwali San Antonio Festival of Lights Texas, United States (2013)
- Sanchez, Aurelio (2 November 2007). "Fest celebrates triumph of light over dark". The Albuquerque Journal. p. 10. "According to a resolution passed recently by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, the festival is celebrated by almost 2 million in the United States and many millions more around the world. The bill, H.R. 747, calls for the U.S. Congress to acknowledge 'the religious and historical significance of the festival of Diwali.'"
- "US House passes resolution on significance of Diwali". The Hindustan Times. 30 October 2007.
- "Statement by the President on Diwali". 4 November 2010.
- Diwali San Antonio Festival of Lights Celebrates 5th Anniversary
- Vora, Shivani (20 October 2011). "New York's Pierre Hotel Celebrates its First Diwali". The New York Times India blog. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "New Jersey Hindus pained as no School Holiday for Diwali in 2014". news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- Diwali Lights up India India Today (3 November 2013)
- India’s banks face pre-Diwali cash crunch James Lamont, The Financial Times (29 October 2010)
- Diwali lights up consumer spending, festive spirit beats inflation M.G. Arun, India Today (1 November 2013)
- Festive season to boost India gold buying Bullion Street (15 October 2013)
- Gold, Key markets: India World Gold Council (2013)
- Firecrackers to cost a bomb this Diwali The Times of India (24 October 2013)
- Barman, S. C., Singh, R., Negi, M. P. S., & Bhargava, S. K. (2009). Fine particles (PM2. 5) in ambient air of Lucknow city due to fireworks on Diwali festival, Journal of Environmental Biology , 30(5), pp 625-632
- Attri, A. K., Kumar, U., & Jain, V. K. (2001). Microclimate: Formation of ozone by fireworks. Nature, 411(6841), pp 1015
- Mohan, D., & Varghese, M. (1990). Fireworks cast a shadow on India's festival of lights. In World Health Forum (Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 323-6). World Health Organization
- Ahuja, R. B., & Bhattacharya, S. (2004). ABC of burns: Burns in the developing world and burn disasters. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 329(7463), 447
- Jha, J. C. (1976), The Hindu Festival of Divali in the Caribbean, Caribbean Quarterly, pp 53-61; Also see Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, I.iii.28
- Diwali The Tribune, India (2013); see also Shashanka, S. (2012), Role of Spiritual Science in Leadership and Management, Purushartha: A Journal of Management Ethics and Spirituality, 5(2)
- Ancient vedic prayer World Prayers Society (2012)
- Derrett Duncan J. (1999), An Indian metaphor in St John's gospel, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (Third Series), 9(02), 271-286
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