How did you celebrate Diwali of 2019

Diwali - the festival of lights

Origin of name

Diwali, Deepavali or Dipavali - the most important Hindu festival has many names. Since all the variations of the word for “chain of lights” or “row of lights” come from Sanskrit, the festival will continue to be that too Festival of Lights called. The happy and spiritual atmosphere of the festival also makes it comparable to our Christmas party.


Meaning of the festival of lights

Similar to the Dussehra festival, which is celebrated 20 days before Diwali, the meaning of the festival of lights basically goes back to the victory of good against evil. While the specific rituals and mythological legends that make up the festival vary from region to region, the main occasion - the celebration of good over evil, light over darkness, truth over lies and life over death - remains the same everywhere .

In South India, Krishna's victory over Naraka at Diwali is in the foreground. The demon Naraka imprisoned thousands of women whom Krishna delivered through victory.

In northern India, the end of the 14-year exile is being celebrated by God Rama, your wife Sita and brother Lakshmana. On the day that Diwali is celebrated today, they returned to their capital, Ayodhya. As they traveled through the darkness, the people they met on their way lit oil lamps.

Rituals & meaning in their order

The festival of lights is celebrated for 5 days. All along, however, the lights are central. Oil lamps, fairy lights and candles light up houses, shops, streets and squares. Numerous fireworks also remind of our New Year's Eve party.

Day 1 -Dhanwantari Triodasi

Wealthy Day: gold and silver jewelry, but basically everything that glitters is bought. Everything should be new and fresh, so that on this day the houses are cleaned up and people wear their newest, cleanest clothes.

Day 2 - Narak Chaturdasi

On this day you first clean yourself with a bath before sunrise. Oil lamps are lit, the house is decorated, and fireworks are lit. Today friends and relatives visit each other and give each other sweet treats.

Day 3 - Lakshmi puja

On the third day, the goddess Lakshmi is worshiped, who according to belief brings her blessings wherever lights are lit for her. As Lakshmi is the goddess of luck, this day is considered particularly promising for gambling. For this reason, on this third day of the Festival of Lights, many people go to casinos or take part in some kind of raffle.

Day 4 - Govardhan Puja

New Years Day and Day of Worship of Krishna and Vishnu.

Day 5 - Bhau Beej

Diwali closes with "brother-sister day". On the last day of the Festival of Lights, siblings promise to protect one another.

Development of meaning & criticism today

As is often the case with the great traditional festivals, the Diwali festival is now heavily commercialized. Especially in the big cities, the time around the festival of lights counts as the main shopping time. Jewelers in particular sell a lot of jewelry related to the Hindu festival.

The development from a quiet, spiritual festival to a consumer event is criticized. Furthermore, the air pollution, which the festival caused by the many fireworks and oil lamps, is heavily criticized. The already high levels of fine dust in the Indian metropolises regularly exceed the limit values ​​around the Diwali festival by far.


When is Diwali celebrated?

In the Hindu lunar year, the festival of lights falls on the 15th day of the month of Kartik and is therefore at the end of Gregorian October or the beginning of November. This day is always a new moon, which is also the reason why the time of the Diwali festival also depends on the geographical location of the respective place. In East India the festival of lights is celebrated a day earlier than in western India or in Hindu communities in Europe and America. These time differences are also reminiscent of Christmas, which is celebrated partly on the 25th and partly on the 24th (Christmas Eve). In 2018, Diwali is celebrated on November 6th (in Singapore) and November 7th. In 2019, the public holiday falls on October 27th and 28th.