Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is an important religious festival originating in India.
People often think of Diwali as a Hindu festival, but it is also celebrated by Sikhs and Jains.
Taking place annually, Diwali lasts for five days, marking the start of the Hindu New Year. The exact dates change each year and are determined by the position of the moon but the festival usually falls between October and November.
This year, Diwali will be celebrated on Sunday 27 October 2019.
During Diwali, people decorate their homes with lights and oil lamps. For many, Diwali honours the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi and the lights and lamps are said to help Lakshmi find her way into peoples’ homes, bringing prosperity in the year to come.
Others view the festival as a celebration of good triumphing over evil. Each religion marks different historical events and stories.
It’s a time to have fun with friends and family. People exchange gifts, enjoy delicious meals, watch firework displays and wear new clothes. In the UK, the city of Leicester, holds the largest Diwali celebrations outside of India and every year, tens of thousands of people gather in the streets to enjoy the festivities.
Today, Diwali is celebrated by thousands of people in countries all around the world.