10 Interesting Facts About Deepavali
By Deborah Rowe
November 12, 2012
With Deepavali coming up tomorrow, we thought we’d highlight some interesting facts which you may or may not know about this momentous celebration for Hindus all around the world!
- Most of you should know this one: Deepavali (or Diwali) is the ‘festival of lights’.
- Deepavali is the largest and most widely celebrated holiday in India, as it marks the Hindu New Year.
- Deepavali normally lasts for five days, starting on the 14th day of the dark half of the Hindu calendar.
- Deepavali is officially celebrated on the third day, whereby it begins with a cleansing oil bath before the sun rises and ends in the evening with the burning of oil lamps and sparklers!
- Gambling during Deepavali is believed to bring one luck and prosperity in the upcoming year!
- There are varied interpretations of Deepavali in India – according to North Indian traditions, Deepavali marks the return of Lord Rama after 14 years in exile, but down South of India, they believe that Deepavali is celebrated to mark the demise of the evil Narakasura by Lord Krishna!
- During Diwali, many Indian delicacies are consumed such as Sheera – a warm fudge-like sweet made with raisins, nuts, semolina, saffron and cardamom - which is eaten with a spicy black-eye bean curry!
- Most Hindus fast on the second day of Deepavali, and they break their fast only at sunset with either a bowl of porridge or with cracked wheat, butter and sugar.
- Families mark this significant event by drawing a colourful rangoli, which is a decorative pattern made from rice flour, at the entrance of their homes. They hope that Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and good fortune will see the beautiful patterns and visit their homes!
- “Shubh Deepavali” is the traditional greeting linked with Deepavali, which means “Have an auspiscious Deepavali’!
To all our Hindu friends, SAFRA wishes you “Happy Deepavali”! To everyone else, enjoy your public holiday tomorrow!
Photos by Singapore Tourism Board