|When is Diwali?|
|What is Diwali?|
Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is observed on the fifteenth day of the Hindu month of Kartika and marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. This event occurs in autumn of each year, between mid-October and mid-November, and signals the "victory over darkness, knwoledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair."
Prior to Diwali, it is common for people to completely clean, renovate, and redecorate their homes. During the festival, people dress up in new clothing or their finest clothes as they ignite lamps and candles, known as diyas, around their house both inside and outside. They also participate in prayer with their family, typically directed towards the goddess of wealth and prosperity, Lakshmi. Fireworks follow the time of prayer before the families partake in a meal together while exchanging gifts with their family, friends, and neighbors. As a result, Diwali results in a period of time where shopping is more common and more volume than usual.
Diwali is a very important time for Hindus. The names of the days as part of the festival differ, mainly as a result of different rituals based on the location. In most parts of India, the festival begins with Dhanteras before Naraka Chaturdasi on the second day, Diwali on the third, Diwali Padva on the fourth, and Bhau-beej on the final day. Dhanteras typically occurs eighteen-days post Dussehra (Dasara), which is the tenth day of the Navrati Festival.