9 Lesser Known Facts of Diwali

Hey my lovely readers. How are you all? Well, I know I haven’t been active on WP for the past few days, but I was a bit busy exploring other facets of blogging. But I did miss being on WP too!

With Diwali almost upon us, I’m prepping up for some fun festive posts around the season. This is especially for my audience belonging to places other than India, to give them interesting insights into the festivities. I’m sure all of you have read or heard about this yearly festival being celebrated with great pomp in India (although this year the celebration will be on a low-key owing to Covid!)

For me, Diwali is my favourite time of the year. I connect it with an air of celebration, happiness, decorative lights, sound of firecrackers, seasonal greetings, blessings from elders, festive clothes and, of course, gorging on mouthfuls of sweets and savouries. I still recall when I was a kid my dad would pamper me with a bagful of firecrackers, and we’d burst them all within minutes and enjoy the celebration with family. Although this year I say NO to firecrackers in the wake of being environment friendly and to protect the planet. But it is these little memories around the season that are deeply etched in my mind.

A festival that has as many stories associated with it as the number of different traditions and religions that celebrate it. To give a glimpse into it, here I share some interesting and lesser-known facts around the festival.

  • Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is India’s most important festive season celebrated in the honour of King Ramachandra, the seventh avatar (incarnation of the Lord Vishnu).
  • It symbolises the victory of morality and goodness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. Hence Indians also worship Goddess Lakshmi, the harbinger of wealth, happiness, and prosperity.
  • The direct translation of the word Diwali in English means ‘row of lights (or lamps).’ This is why households in India decorate their homes with lights and earthen diyas. It is a celebration of light, that culminates in bursting crackers.
  • Diwali is the time when people purchase gold as a symbol of prosperity. Research says that Indian housewives hold 11% of the world’s gold! And each year the ratio rises!
  • Diwali is one of the few festivals in India that does not have a regional root and is celebrated across the country with equal aplomb.
  • Diwali marks the end of the harvest season and the onset of winter. Hence on this day, farmers thank the deities for the harvests they had and pray for a prosperous harvesting season in the upcoming year.
  • Interestingly, gambling during Diwali is allowed as there is a belief that it brings good luck and prosperity in the year ahead.
  • Apart from India, in the city of Leicester, in the United Kingdom, largest Diwali celebrations are held. Thousands of people gather on the streets to enjoy shows of light, music, and dancing.
  • The festival is also celebrated in the Caribbean, especially in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. Given the level of enthusiasm for this festival, it is a public holiday in these countries!

That’s it!

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