It’s celebrated by people of different faiths, including many Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Muslims, and Buddhists.
It is often referred to as the festival of lights for the dazzling light shows and bold fireworks that are used to commemorate the occasion.
So when will Diwali 2023 start, and how do people celebrate it?
When is Diwali 2023?
Diwali is celebrated over five days, with the festival starting on Sunday, November 12.
The date changes slightly year on year, so it will begin on a different day in 2023.
For 2024, Diwali should take place around Thursday, October 31.
Whichever date Diwali is on that year, it always falls sometime during the Hindu month of Kartika.
Kartika always takes place over dates in October and November, though they can vary, too.
How is Diwali celebrated? Traditions and meanings
Those celebrating the festival will typically decorate their homes with lights and Rangolis: elaborate patterns made out of materials including rice, coloured sand, and flowers.
There are usually big celebrations in towns and cities across the world, where there will be fireworks, light displays, dancing, and food. Diwali is a time for feasts and treats.
One popular delicacy is kaju katli, a fudge-like sweet made with ground cashews and sugar, and sometimes flavoured with rose water. Sweet fried bread is another loved Diwali dish.
Perhaps one of the most popular dishes to eat during Diwali is called Lapsi Halwa. It’s made from cracked wheat, cooked with ghee, and sweetened with sugar and cardamom.
What are the Five Days of Diwali?
Typically, the five days of Diwali are celebrated as follows:
Day one: People clean their homes and shop for gold or kitchen utensils to help bring good fortune.
Day two: People decorate their homes with clay lamps and create design patterns called rangoli on the floor using coloured powders or sand.
Day three: On the main day of the festival, families gather together for Lakshmi puja, a prayer to Goddess Lakshmi, followed by mouth-watering feasts and firework festivities.
Day four: This is the first day of the new year, when friends and relatives visit with gifts and best wishes for the season.
Day five: Brothers visit their married sisters (or other family members in general, in modern days) who welcome them with love and a lavish meal.
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