Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is celebrated every year—on the night of the new moon that falls between mid-October and mid-November. Homes are decorated with candles and colorful lights which brighten the dark nights of fall.
Although Diwali is a Hindu festival it has, over the years, become the largest and most important national holiday in India and is celebrated by almost all faiths. One of the highlights of our North India Tour is that we’ll be there to celebrate for ourselves! See our India tour(s) here for more information.
There are several interpretations of the story of Diwali, depending on your faith and where in the country you are, but the overriding theme is the celebration of light over dark and good over evil. It is one of the happiest holidays in India.
Preparations for the five-day festival begin weeks in advance and each home is thoroughly cleaned and then decorated with lamps and candles as well as rangoli—colorful designs on the floor, created with colored powders or sand.
The third day of the festival is the main day of celebration. This is when families gather at home to feast, share sweets and gifts and pray to Lakshmi—the goddess of fertility and prosperity. The day ends with huge fireworks displays.