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29 October 2014
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Updated November 2004
Diwali - The Hindu Festival of Lights
by Manish Gajjar
Diwali - the festival of lights
Diwali - the Hindu festival of lights

Friday 12th November sees Diwali Day. To celebrate, a five day festival is held, starting on 10th November.

It's an auspicious occasion of religious significance to Hindus, Sikhs and Jains everywhere.

SEE ALSO

BBC Shropshire's Navratri Feature
Gives an in-depth account of the true meaning behind Navratri, the Hindu Festival.

BOLLYWOOD

Our Bollywood film section has all the information you need. A guide to local cinema, previews and reviews on the latest releases.

At BBC Shropshire, we have chosen the Top Ten Bollywood movies for the month. These films are well worth a "dekho" at a cinema near you.

Tell us what you think of this special report and our Bollywood section by visiting our Message Board.

You can contact
Manish Gajjar at
manish.gajjar@bbc.co.uk

Links to other pages for this festival
Diwali - The Hindu Festival of Lights
Shri Laxmi Maa
Shri Laxmi Maa: The Hindu Goddess of Wealth.
Diwali is one of the most vibrant and colourful globally celebrated festivals by the Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.
It's a festival of joy and prosperity, generally falls in the months of October or November according to the English calendar.

The name 'Diwali' has been derived from a Sanskrit word (the ancient Hindu scripture) called 'Deepavali', 'Deepa' meaning 'light' and 'Avali' meaning 'row' which literally means 'row of lights'.

Hence the essence of Diwali is often referred to as the 'festival of lights'. Usually lasting for five consecutive days, each day has its own religious significance.

In northern India, Diwali celebrates Lord Rama's return to Ayodhya after the defeat of Ravana and his coronation as king.

In Hindu Gujaratis, this festival honours Lakshmi Maa, the Goddess of Wealth whilst with Bengalis, it is associated with Maa Kali, the Goddess of Destruction.

Sikhs light up gurdwaras (temples) as a reminder of the spiritual victory of Guru Hargobind who saved 52 Hindu kings from imprisonment.

This auspicious celebration means as much to Hindus as Christmas means to Christians.
 
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