Diwali is a holiday in India, celebrating the festival of lights. It has a variety of names, including: Divali, Dipawali, Deepavali, Dipabali. It is celebrated a number of ways, in many different locations.
Upcoming Dates For Diwali
The festival of lights is traditionally held on the 15th day of Kartika. The celebration can last up to 5 days in certain locations. It's also celebrated on a different day in some areas. Universally, here is a list of the upcoming dates:
- Thursday, October 19, 2017
- Wednesday, November 7, 2018
- Sunday, October 27, 2019
- Saturday, November 14, 2020
- Thursday, November 4, 2021
- Monday, October 24, 2022
- Sunday, November 12, 2023
- Friday, November 1, 2024
- Monday, October 20, 2025
Where Is Diwali Considered a Holiday?
Throughout India, Diwali is considered a public holiday. There will be no government offices open on this day. The banks and post offices will remain closed as well. Public transportation may be unavailable in some areas, but functioning in others. There may be delays in traffic, due to celebrations. Individual shops may remain open, but it is unlikely since the festival applies to many different backgrounds.
Festivities & Events During Diwali
Different backgrounds observe the festival in different ways (as can be seen by the history of the festival). Traditionally, there are many lights, decorating homes and the streets. There are lights strung up, along with clay oil lamps. There are also bowls of water placed with candles and flowers floating inside. Individuals clean their yards and homes prior to Diwali. As a method of starting fresh during the celebration, many clean themselves with fragrant oils and dawn new clothing. It is common to give gifts to family and friends, even business associates, during Diwali. Since the lunar calendar can be interpreted in many ways, there are some areas that celebrate this festival on a different date. But, since the festival lasts up to 5 days, there are many opportunities to participate.
A Brief History About Diwali
Diawali commemorates the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom after the 14-year exile. There are many stories told about Lord Rama on the holiday known as Dussehra. Also celebrated on Diwali is the Goddess Lakshmi. In West Bengal, there is a celebration known as "Kali Puja", which celebrates Kali (Shiva's consort). Southern India commemorates Krishna freeing the prisoners under Asura Naraka's rule. Buddhists celebrate the conversion of Emperor Ashoka. Jainism chooses to observe the enlightenment of Mahavira. The sixth Nanak's return from detention is also celebrated around the same time. Each of these festivals is held during the festival of lights - making it a universal celebration for all.