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Authored by British Online Archives
Published on 24th October, 2022 1 min read


A poster for Diwali.

Today (24/10/2022) marks the start of Diwali, a five-day festival celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains around the world. Known as the “festival of lights”, Diwali always takes place between October and November, at the start of the Hindu New Year (in the Hindu calendar, this is the month of “Kārtika”). Diwali is celebrated in a variety of ways, and the festivities vary according to one’s faith and where one lives. For Hindus, the festival marks the triumph of light over darkness and, for many, it is a time to honour Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. For this reason, Hindus often light lamps (including “diyas”, or oil candles) during the festival – so that Lakshmi can find her way into their homes – and set off fireworks. At the same time, Diwali coincides with Bandi Chhor Divas, an important event in the Sikh calendar, which commemorates Guru Hargobind’s release from prison and return to Amritsar, in 1619. In turn, for Jains, Diwali marks the liberation of Maharava (the most recent of the spiritual leaders known as “Tirthankaras”) from the cycle of death and rebirth.

To all those observing this festival over the next few days, British Online Archives would like to wish you a very happy Diwali!

Authored by British Online Archives

British Online Archives

British Online Archives provides unique collections of primary source documents for students and researchers studying the Humanities and Social Sciences.

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The British Online Archives Notable Days diary is a platform intended to mark key dates and events throughout the year. The posts draw attention to historical events and figures, as well as recurring cultural traditions and international awareness days, in both religious and secular contexts.

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