Diwali is a five-day Festival of Lights and it is India's largest and most important holiday of the year. It is also celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains across the world. Diwali, which for some also coincides with harvest and new year celebrations, is a festival of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.
Wellington invites the entire community to celebrate this occasion as a means to strengthen relationships and encourage positivity in all aspects of life. Our Village Hall clock tower will light up orange and purple on the evening of October 24th in recognition of Diwali.
When is Diwali?
The festival is usually some time between October and November, with the date changing each year.
This year Diwali takes place over five days from 22 October to 26 October with the main day of celebration on Monday 24 October
Where does the name Diwali come from?
The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word deepavali, meaning "rows of lighted lamps."
Houses, shops, and public places are decorated with small oil lamps called diyas. People also enjoy fireworks and sweets too, so it's really popular with children.
What's the festival about?
Each religion marks different historical events and stories. Hindus celebrate the return of deities Rama and Sita to Ayodhya after their 14-year exile. They also celebrate the day Mother Goddess Durga destroyed a demon called Mahisha.
Sikhs particularly celebrate the release from prison of the sixth guru Hargobind Singh in 1619. But Sikhs celebrated the festival before this date.
In fact, the foundation stone of the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the most holy place in the Sikh world, was laid on Diwali in 1577.
The founder of Jainism is Lord Mahavira. During Diwali, Jains celebrate the moment he reached a state called Moksha (nirvana, or eternal bliss).
Many lights and oil lamps are lit on the streets and in houses
People visit their relatives and have feasts
Fireworks and festivities are an essential part of the occasion
Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, is worshipped as the bringer of blessings for the new year