Diwali is the Indian “festival of lights”—a holiday that celebrates the triumph of good over evil. This year, Diwali will be celebrated on November 12th Though technically religious, it’s also become a cultural event in North America that’s celebrated with sweets and special foods. Learn about Diwali, when it occurs, and common traditions! Diwali (also called Divali or Deepavali) is a “festival of lights” that celebrates the triumph of light over dark and
good over evil, and the blessings of victory, freedom, and enlightenment. The name comes from Sanksrit dipavali, meaning “row of lights.” On the night of Diwali, celebrants light dozens of candles and clay lamps (called diyas), placing them throughout their homes and in the streets to light up the dark night.
In most of India, Diwali consists of a five-day celebration that peaks on the third day with the main celebration of Diwali. In other places where Diwali occurs, usually only the main day is celebrated. Because Diwali is celebrated by so many people worldwide, traditions are diverse, though there are a few common themes, including the lighting of candles and the gathering of families