Diwali is the five-day Festival of Lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains across the world.
It is a festival of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.
When is Diwali?
The festival is usually between October and November, with the date changing each year.
What does Diwali mean?
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”. Fireworks brighten the night sky and people enjoy exquisite sweets, visit their relatives and have feasts 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 on which Mother Goddess, Durga, destroyed a demon called Mahisha.
Sikhs celebrate the release from prison of the sixth guru, Hargobind Singh, in 1619. But Sikhs had celebrated the festival before this date.
Jains celebrate the moment Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, reached a state called Moksha (nirvana, or eternal bliss)
The foundation stone of the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the holiest place in the Sikh world, was laid on Diwali in 1577.
Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, is worshipped as the bringer of blessings for the New Year
During this year’s Diwali celebrations Ananda Arts dancers have performed classical Indian dance, adding colour, vibrancy, art and creativity to the event
The dance was performed by