In 2021, Diwali will be celebrated from November 2 to 6 with the main day of celebrations occurring on Thursday, November 4 all over the country. Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is one of the most important holidays last for 5 days for Hindus and is often compared to Christmas in the West.
South India calls this holiday Deepavali and usually celebrates it one day before North India. This year north and South India will celebrate the day of “Diwali” on November 4, 2021.
Diwali celebrations take place over 5 days with each day typically having different rituals and traditions. Below we have listed all the days of Diwali along with their calendar dates and a short description of what happens on each day:
This is the first day of the festival when people clean their homes and prepare for the events ahead. This is also a busy shopping day, when it is considered lucky to go to markets and buy gold or new kitchen items.
The second day is when people start decorating their homes. Many families will put up string lights and start creating their rangoli, which are intricate designs placed on the floors of homes.
The most important part of the celebration is the ritual that takes place on the this day. This ritual is called Lakshmi puja and is dedicated to the goddess Lakshmi who is believed to visit the homes of devotees on the night of Diwali and bring them wealth and good fortune in the new year.
On the day of Diwali, families get together to exchange gifts and have a large meal. Clay oil lamps or diyas are lit and rituals worshipping the goddess Lakshmi are performed. Many people wear their nicest clothes on this day and say " Happy Diwali" to each other.
The fourth day of celebrations is dedicated to the love between husband and wife, and men will often buy gifts for their wives. Many businesses open new accounts on this day as it is considered auspicious.
Bhai Duj (Bhaubeej), the last day of celebrations is dedicated to brothers and sisters. To celebrate their bond, sisters perform a special ceremony for their brothers for their protection. Brothers give presents to their sisters.
The lunar calendar is often used for religious purposes and marks important days of worship whereas the solar calendar is used for day-to-day schedules and is sometimes called the civil calendar.
Like many Indian festivals, the date of Diwali changes every year. The reason for this is due to the Hindu calendar which is based on both lunar and solar cycles that are combined into one system.
Diwali takes place on the 15th day of the Hindu month of Kartik (eighth month of the year)that typically overlaps October and November,which is the day of the new moon or Amavasya. This night is considered to be the darkest night of the year in Hindu mythology and is very holy.
The date of this festival is based on the lunar calendar and therefore changes every year, but it usually falls in November or late October. Here are all the dates of the festival of colors in India from 2020 to 2030.
The dates included in the table is that of the main day of celebrations. Diwali is also celebrated for two days before and two days after this date.
|Diwali 2020||November 14, Saturday|
|Diwali 2021||November 4, Thursday|
|Diwali 2022||October 24, Monday|
|Diwali 2023||November 12, Sunday|
|Diwali 2024||November 1, Friday|
|Diwali 2025||October 21, Tuesday|
|Diwali 2026||November 8, Sunday|
|Diwali 2027||October 29, Friday|
|Diwali 2028||October 17, Tuesday|
|Diwali 2029||November 5, Monday|
|Diwali 2030||October 26, Saturday|
Though the theme of Diwali is universal such as the triumph of Good over Evil, the Darkness paving way for Light. Diwali is observed by Hindus, Sikhs & Jains, each community celebrating Diwali for different reasons.
Each state is very different from its neighbors and likely has its own unique culture and language. Here are multiple ways of celebrating this festival too in different regions of India.
|Deepavali||South India||November 4||Deepavali in Tamil Nadu includes Ayurvedic medicine and rituals to appease the ancestors.|
|Naraka Chaturdashi||Goa and West India||November 4 (usually the day before Diwali, but in 2021 it will take place on the same day)||In Goa, people believe that Diwali celebrates the defeat of the evil demon Narakasura by Durga and Krishna. To celebrate they burn large effigies of the demon and parade through the streets.|
|Dev Diwali||Varanasi||November 18||Dev Diwali a celebration unique to Varanasi’s that takes place 15 days after Diwali. At this time, the gods are believed to gather at the Ganges in Varanasi and to celebrate the city lights clay lanterns, decorates, and sets of fireworks.|
|Kali Puja||West Bengal, Orissa, and Assam||November 4||While most of the country celebrates Lakshmi, West Bengal and other east Indian states worship Kali, the goddess of destruction. During Kali Puja, large statues of the fearsome goddess are erected around the city and she is given offerings and worshipped.|
|Jain Diwali||All over India, but some of the best places include Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Gujarat||November 4||While Diwali is mainly a Hindu holiday, it is also celebrated by Jains. Jains believe that Diwali is the day that Lord Mahavir achieved Nirvana and freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth.|
|Bandi Chor Divas||Punjab||November 4||Diwali is also celebrated by Sikhs in India. For Sikhs, this holiday commemorates the day when the 6th guru, Guru Hargobind was released from unjust imprisonment. To take in the beauty of the Sikh celebrations, head to the Golden Temple in Amritsar.|
Diwali is a public holiday for the general population of India and almost the entire country has the main day of main off. Depending on the region the official public holiday may take place on different days, but most Indians take off the entire week to be with their families as preparations for the holiday can start weeks in advance with Diwali fair and markets opening up to sell decorations and sweets.
Most banks and businesses will be closed on Diwali. You can also expect most restaurants and shops to be closed or have reduced hours throughout the week. Public transportation should still be running as many Indians use it to travel to their family homes, but you should always check with your hotel or guide to make sure.
Diwali is not really celebrated in the South Indian state of Kerala, and although there is a public holiday for the event you can expect some shops and restaurants to remain open.
Learn more about Diwali in India:
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