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The Indian Festival of Lights known as Diwali takes place on Wednesday this week (26 October), and here we’ve listed our top five ways to celebrate it. But first, check out our brief introduction to the festival…
Diwali: A Beginner’s Guide
During Diwali people light diyas (small oil lamps) to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi (the Goddess of wealth and prosperity) into their homes. This is India’s biggest festival of the year marking the beginning of the Hindu New Year. It also celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and the many stories connected to Diwali pass on this same message.
The first day of the festival begins with Dhan Trayodashi or Dhanteras (Dhan means wealth, teras means thirteenth as the day falls on the thirteenth lunar day in the Hindu month) – gold or silver ornaments are used on this day for good luck. The second day is Narak Chaturdashi, which is more popularly known as Small Diwali. The third day, which is also called Big Diwali, is the main day of celebrations. On this day people perform Lakshmi Pujan (worshiping of the Goddess Lakshmi) and offer prayers to her to be blessed with some of her wealth and prosperity. The fourth day of Diwali is devoted to Govardhan Pooja (worship of Lord Govardhan Parvat). It ends with Bhai Dooj which is a day to honour the relationships between brothers and sisters.
During Diwali Hindus place the diyas inside and outside their homes letting them burn all night. Another way people decorate their homes is with rangoli – designs made from coloured flour or sand spread on the floor outside in elaborate patterns. They also spruce up their houses so that Goddess Lakshmi wants to enter. Hindus believe that the Goddess brings wealth when she visits. New household items like gold or silver ornaments or even iPads and designer handbags are bought for the occasion. Gifts including sweets and candles are also exchanged between family and friends. As Diwali celebrates the Hindu New Year, it’s a must to buy new clothes too.
Fireworks also light up the sky to complete the celebrations. It’s believed that fireworks sound the joy of the people living on earth, making the Gods aware of their happiness.
Here’s are how to celebrate Diwali in Dubai…