Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated in countries all around the world, and celebrations in the UK have kicked off today. I can hear fireworks popping all around, and from my living room window I can see plenty of other homes enjoying them too.
But Diwali isn’t just about having fireworks and a few days off work! Primarily celebrated by Hindus, it is one of the major festivals in the religious calendar. It is a time for spring cleaning, celebrated with sweets, savoury food, lights, candles and fireworks.
The festival itself is celebrated to honour Rama-chandra, a reincarnation of the god Vishnu, who is believed the have returned after 14 years of exile and fought against demons and the demon king. He won the battle, and people celebrate the victory of light over darkness. It is also believed that the goddess of happiness and good fortune Lakshmi enters homes that are clean and bright – hence the spring cleaning.
And, of course, Diwali marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year!
And so, Happy Diwali to all who are celebrating today, in the UK and in all the other countries across the world!
N.B. These lovely photos are not mine…I have yet to experience Diwali first hand!