Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is the most important religious festival celebrated by Hindus. The timing of Diwali is based on the Hindu lunar calendar and is usually in October or November. Diwali is followed by the new year, when within the family (and sometimes very close friends) the younger generation receive blessings for the new year from the older generation.
Why do Hindus celebrate Diwali?
Diwali celebrates the story of Rama, who has been sent away from home by his step-mother so her son can become king. He goes to live in the forest with his wife Sita and half-brother Lakshmana. After his fourteen years in exile, Rama returns home with Sita and Lakshmana and the people come out to meet them lighting their way home with diya lamps. Rama is crowned king.
Why is Diwali known as the Festival of Lights?
The word Diwali means 'line of lights'. Every year people light lamps, known as diya lamps, as a reminder of when Rama was welcomed home.
What happens at Diwali?
People celebrate by decorating their homes with Rangoli patterns and diya lamps. They hold parties, wear new clothes, and (women) decorate their hands with henna. People also make and give sweets at this time; sweets are connected with good things and celebrations in general.