Diwali is one of the major Hindu festivals. It is celebrated in all parts of India, where it is a national holiday, and in Hindu communities worldwide.
Diwali takes its name from “Diyas” (lamps) which symbolically remove the darkness and awaken the light. Clay lamps traditionally filled with mustard oil, or candles of different colours like red, green, and yellow are lit and placed around the entrances of houses.
Families spend days cleaning and decorating their homes in preparation for Diwali. The idea is to fill the houses with lights and remove the gloom and darkness. The preparation of traditional sweets to share with families and friends makes the festive spirit even merrier.
The first thing we do on Diwali day is get up early, wear nice new clothes, and offer fruit and sweets to family members. Later we visit friends to exchange greetings and sweets. The concept is to get everyone one in a festive and relaxed mood. The celebration generally concludes with spectacular displays of fireworks – these play a significant role in increasing the charms of Diwali among all age groups.
This year the official celebration will take place on Saturday 24 October at Horncastle Arena from 3pm till 9pm (and probably later!). It will be an event where you can expect lots of entertainment showcasing the culture and arts from various states of India. There will be food and trade stalls, and of course fireworks so that all the people in Christchurch can enjoy experiencing the Diwali festive spirit.
Hope to see you there!
- Check out the programme of events on the day
- Find resources about Diwali in our catalogue
- Read about Diwali in the World Book Reference Center (you will need your library card and password / PIN to access this from home)
- View photos about Diwali on our Flickr photostream