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What will you be doing to celebrate Diwali over the next few days? (11th November 2015)

What will you be doing to celebrate Diwali over the next few days?

Diwali is known as the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated globally by Hindu’s, Sikh’s and Jain’s.

It is one of the most vibrant, colourful festival of joy and prosperity in the months of October or November (depending on how the calendar falls).

The word Diwali comes from a Hindu scripture word “Deepavali”, “Depp” meaning “light” and the second word “Avali” meaning “row”; a row of lights…

This year, Diwali starts on the 10th of November and usually lasts for five days. The first day of the Diwali celebrations includes the cleaning of the homes by Hindu devotees.

Legend has it that Laxshmi Maa; the Goddess of Wealth, makes a visit to all homes from the very first day of Diwali marking the celebrations.

Fresh flowers make up colourful Garlands which are hung in doorways whilst traditional 'rangoli' designs or motifs are painted near the front door to bring 'good luck' into the lives of the family.

Diyas (colourful clay pots) form an important part of Diwali celebrations. To ward off any evil spirits, small 'diyas' (lights) in colourful clay pots are lit around the house to. Being a day dedicated to the festival of wealth, Dhanteras (the first day) is considered an auspicious day to buy some gold or silver for the forthcoming year.

Diwali greeting cards to friends and family are also exchanged to wish prosperity and fortune for the celebrations and the coming year.

This celebration means as much to Hindus as Christmas means to Christians.