What is Diwali?
Do you know Diwali? It is the festival of lights which is celebrated by over one billion people every year. It is an important holiday in India and Indian culture all over the world. It represents the good winning over the evil and the light winning over darkness. Diwali, which is also called Deepavali, is a significant celebration for four different Indian religions - Hindus, Sikhs, Newar Buddhists and Jains. This festival is especially important for Hindu people since it marks the beginning of the New Year in the Hindu calendar. Read below to find out everything you have to know about this beautiful and fascinating holiday.
When is Diwali 2024?
Unlike Western holidays, Diwali is not celebrated on a single day. Instead, it spans over 5 days in October or November, while each day has a different meaning and is filled with unique traditions. The exact dates change every year. This year it falls on the following days:
Day 1, called Dhantears, is on the 31th of October.
Day 2, called Naraka Chaturdashi, is on the 1th of November.
Day 3, called Lakshmi Pujan, is on the 2th of November. This 3rd day is the most important as it’s the highlight of the Diwali festival.
Day 4, called Annakut, is on the 3th of November.
Day 5, called Bhai Duj, is on the 4th of November.
Why do Diwali dates change?
The reason for this is the unique Hindu calendar. Unlike the solar Gregorian calendar, the Hindu calendar changes every year because it is lunisolar. That means it’s a combination of the lunar calendar and the solar calendar. A lunar month has roughly 29,5 days while a solar month is usually 30 to 31 days long. This creates a difference of 11 days each year because the lunar year has 354 days while the solar year has usually 365 days. To solve this difference, a whole new month consisting of 33 days is added every three years, with a few days adjusted randomly. This is the reason why the Hindu calendar changes and thus the Diwali dates change as well.
Which countries celebrate Diwali?
Outside of India the festival of lights is celebrated in eleven other countries all over the world:
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Sri Lanka
However, Diwali is also celebrated by Indian immigrants living abroad especially in countries with a large Indian population like America, where the festival is known as “Indian Christmas”.
What are Diwali traditions?
There are many traditions that are followed on Diwali, some dating back to ancient times, more than 2000 years ago. They sometimes change depending on religious belief and different parts of the country. These traditions are the most common ones:
- cleaning the house
- making homemade sweets and savoury snacks
- going shopping for new gadgets, jewelry, and gifts
- illuminating the houses by plenty of candles and light
- bursting firecrackers to keep evil spirits away through the noise and light
- watching fireworks and public dance performances
- worshipping the gods and goddesses through rituals, prayers and offering
- attending parties with families and friends where plenty of special food is served
- giving each other gifts and Indian sweets called “Mithai”
- sending cards or Diwali ecards to relatives and friends
What is the best gift for Diwali?
The best Diwali gifts depends on the prenentee and on your budget. However, most commonly gifted items are new clothes like saris, jewelry, chocolates and biscuits, flowers, gift baskets, traditional oil lamps called “Diyas” and firecrackers.
One of the best ways to mark the celebration is to send your beloved ones Diwali cards. You can choose to send traditional Diwali postcards by snail mail or send them an electronic Diwali ecard instead. The card will be sent instantly, or you can schedule it for any other day in the future. Choose from a variety of free Diwali digital cards on our site or create a personal e-card for Diwali as you can make your own e-card by inserting a photo or any other image and send instantly to your friends and family around the globe or around the corner from your house.
What to write in Diwali greeting cards
Diwali is the most important festival of the year to honour the goddess Lakshmi. She represents wealth and prosperity, as well as love, beauty and joy. The Hindu people wish for those gifts on Diwali from the goddess. It also marks the beginning of the new year and, therefore, the Hindu also pray to Lakshmi to bring them good fortune during the next year.
The festival of lights is also a celebration of togetherness, where family bonds and friendships are emphasised.
Here is how to what to write in your Diwali greeting:
"Wishing you happy Diwali and a bright, blessed new year!"
"Happy Diwali! I wish you wealth and prosperity!"
"Wishing you a happy, bright Diwali full of love and joy"
"Blessed Diwali from our family to yours! We wish you good fortune and many blessings in the new year."
"Happy Diwali! I wish you a wonderful celebration with your loved ones and a prosperous next year!"
You can always try coming up with something of your own. Let your creativity flow. Think about what kind of greetings you would be happy to receive before writing.
Are you wondering if you can send Diwali greeting cards despite not celebrating Diwali yourself? You certainly can! It is a great gesture to brighten someone's day and warm their hearts.