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facts about Diwali lanterns

There are plenty of interesting facts about Diwali to discover ahead of the celebrations in November, a time of vibrant colours, family celebrations and awe-inspiring fireworks!

Diwali, also recognised as ‘the festival of light’, boasts a fascinating history and ancient origin, which is celebrated every year by over a billion people around the world. This spectacular Indian festival combines stories, feasts and fireworks over a span of five days, making for a memorable week of celebration.

But what else do we really know about the widely celebrated religious occasion?

Keep reading to discover 5 interesting facts about Diwali you probably didn’t know…


When is Diwali in the UK?

Happy Diwali 2021

Each year, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Newar Buddhists join together to celebrate Diwali, also referred to as Deepawali, Divali or Deepavali. The five days of Diwali 2021 are between November 2nd and November 6th, with the ‘main’ day of Diwali falling on November 4th.

The date of Diwali varies each year as the Hindu lunar calendar is based on the Moon cycles. However, the festival always occurs in October/November, which boasts plenty of noticeable signs of autumn.

The Story of Diwali

Woman in Sari with Diya Candles

One of the most popular stories in Hindu mythology is the tale of Lord Rama and how he defeated the demon king Ravana. Diwali is the day that villagers lit a path for Lord Rama, his wife Sita Devi and his brother Lakshmana as they travelled home after 14 years in exile.

Another fascinating story of Diwali is the story of Lord Krishna defeating the demon of Narakasura. After slaying the demon, he announced it as a day of celebration and festivities.

Regardless of which Diwali you celebrate, the story will always resemble a triumph of light over darkness and new beginnings.


Facts about Diwali

1. Diwali is a global celebration

Diwali is a global celebration

Our first interesting fact about Diwali is that it is celebrated by millions of people across the globe!

Canada, the United Kingdom, Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Australia and many more have a sizable Indian community, where Diwali is celebrated with much excitement.


2. Rangoli are drawings to invite gods into homes

Rangoli for Diwali

Rangoli is a great Diwali activity for kids and a popular tradition in many households. Make these beautiful patterns with flowers, colourful powders and candles, with one of the main patterns symbolising the lotus flower, clinging to images of the goddess Lakshmi.

Alongside oil lamps, candles and various lights, you can place your Rangoli near the entrances of your home. This is a way to lead and invite gods inside your home, many bringing wealth, prosperity, happiness and new beginnings.


3. Leicester hosts the largest celebration outside of India

Diwali in Leicester

If you’re looking for the best place in the UK to celebrate Diwali then you should visit Leicester in Leicestershire. The oldest resident in the Asian community switched on the first public display of the Diwali Lights in Leicester in 1983.

Since then, Leicester hosts one of the largest Diwali celebrations outside of India, which are getting bigger and better! Enjoy breath-taking views of illuminating lights and decorations along the city’s ‘Golden Mile’ before a spectacular firework display!


4. Diwali can last up to five days

Diwali Candles

Next on our guide to facts about Diwali is that the festival can last up to five days, with each day of Diwali representing unique rituals and traditions.

Day 1 and 2 begin with cleaning, preparing for events and decorating with rangoli and henna.

Day 3 is when the goddess Lakshmi is thought to visit and bring wealth and fortune. This is the ‘main day’ of Diwali when families join together for a meal, perform worshipping rituals and light diyas.

Day 4 and 5 are dedicated days towards partners and siblings, great for celebrating bonds with ceremonies and exchanging gifts.


5. People exchange gifts and food to friends and family

Diwali Food

Concluding our facts about Diwali is one of the best! Diwali is known for its mouth-watering choice of delicious foods, lavish gifts and fun Diwali activities.

In a similar fashion to Christmas, Diwali is a time to appreciate and spend time with family and loved ones. Typical gifts range from sweets and dried fruit to clothes and jewellery.

Indulge in traditional Diwali sweets such as the sweet flavours of gulab jamun or the soft and spongy Rasgullas dumplings. Other popular Diwali recipes include samosas, rice kheer, gujiya, and kalakand to name a few!


If you have any other facts about Diwali that you wish to share with us, please let us know on TwitterFacebook or Instagram! Alternatively, uncover more interesting facts to impress your loved ones with fascinating facts about Bonfire Night and fun facts about Easter!

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