5 things to know about Diwali

A closer look at the Hindu community's Festival of Lights

The Hindu community is celebrating its largest and brightest celebration, Diwali, also known as Deepavali, this week. Here are five things you should know about the grand festival:

  1. What the word signifies: “Diwali,” derived from the language Sanskrit, literally means a series of lights.
  2. Why it’s celebrated: The main night of Diwali coincides with the Hindu New Year, and the festival is an ancient Hindu event that celebrates the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.
  3. When it is celebrated: It is traditionally celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Kartika in the Hindu calendar, which normally falls somewhere between mid-October and mid-November. The rituals and festivities go on for about five days, and this year Diwali is officially on Nov. 11.
  4. How it’s celebrated: The spirit of Diwali is celebrating light over darkness and hope over despair, so the festival is centred around light. People celebrate by lighting fireworks, candles, lamps, lanterns and small clay oil lamps known traditionally known as diyas. People also mark the holiday by taking part in family worship, gift-giving and a grand feast.
  5. Where you can celebrate in the city: Diwali Celebrations hosted by the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir will be taking place at 61 Claireville Dr. on Nov. 11, 12 and 15.