Diwali Celebrations begin this Friday!

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By Nia Ashenafi, Editor in Chief

This upcoming Friday is the first day of Diwali, a five-day celebration! Diwali, also known as Divali, is a major religious festival celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs. It is India’s most popular festival and a time to celebrate light’s victory over darkness. This year the first day of Diwali is on Friday, October 22, and lasts until October 26th.

Each day of Diwali has a significance where different customs and traditions are held. The first day, Dhanteras, is when families traditionally clean, decorate their homes, and worship the gods of wealth and prosperity. On the second day, known as Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali, many people pray or take baths to rid themselves of impurities. The third day, called Lakshmi Puja, is the main Diwali festival. On this day, many ask for blessings from the goddess Lakshmi and gather to perform Lakshmi Puja, a prayer dedicated to the goddess. Families eat sweets and feast during this day. Additionally, this is where the holiday got its name as the festival of lights! The fourth day, Govardhan Puja, marks the 1st day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month Kartik. On the fifth and final day, sisters and brothers pray for each other to celebrate their bond.

Each household celebrates the holiday differently, but common activities may include prayers, feasts, fireworks, family gatherings, and giving to charity and different causes. During Diwali, families wear their nicest clothes, eat delicious food, and enjoy the day together. Senior Aahna Patel says, “It’s a holiday I look forward to every year where I can celebrate with my family.” Flint Hill junior Uma Smolinski and Patel let us know that there are celebrations that all of us can attend if we want to learn more about this festival!