Deepavali or Diwali is the Indian festival of lights. It is widely celebrated across the world. Diwali is an Indian festival that is celebrated all over the country and there are many stories associated with it.  Discover ten surprising facts about Diwali that you were probably not aware of.

diwali festival 2019

Diwali Festival 2019

  1. Many think that Diwali is a Hindu festival, but it is also celebrated by several other communities like Jains, Sikhs and several folk religions.
  2. Grand decorations, fireworks, new clothes and lights mark Diwali celebrations. This is because Diwali is the day on which Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, is believed to wander the Earth and grant blessings of joy and wealth.
  3. For Jain believers, this is the day Lord Mahavira, the last of the 24 Thirthankaras (Great Teachers), achieved ‘Nirvana’.
  4. A recent tradition associated with Diwali is the one related to Sikhism. For Sikhs, Diwali is the occasion when their teacher, Guru Hargobind Ji, was freed, along with many Hindu kings, from captivity in Gwalior. It was the Mughal king, Jahangir, who had imprisoned him.
  5. In South India, Deepavali or Diwali is a one-day festival but most regions in north and north-west India celebrate it for five days. In each region, the festival has its own significance and honors a different deity.
  6. Among all the Diwali origin myths, the most popular one is the one that says Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya, his kingdom, on this day, after slaying the demon king, Ravana. Supposedly, across the country, lights were lit to celebrate his return from exile.
  7. In South India, Deepavali or Diwali is celebrated as the day Lord Krishna killed the demon, Narakasura. Legends say that Narakasura, during his last moments, repented his sins and requested that his death should be celebrated with lights and colors across the country every year. He made this request to Mother Earth and his wish was granted.
  8. Bursting firecrackers is the most popular tradition associated with Diwali festival. But this tradition began recently and until the 1900s, it was not common as firecrackers were very expensive. They were used mostly by the royals.
  9. Indians supposedly have a record 11% of the total gold owned by people all over the world. Most of it is bought during Dhanteras, a festival that usually comes two days before Diwali. Apart from purchasing gold, people also clean their houses and decorate them with colorful rangolis and often fairy lights on this day.
  10. India and Pakistan have always had a stormy relationship since Partition in 1947. The two countries have fought three wars over the last seven decades and the border between the two is marked by constant tension. But Diwali is one occasion during which soldiers from both sides forget their differences, offer greetings and distribute sweets to each other.