Divali (Deepavali)

For the Divali Schedule from 2000 to 2030, Click here.

Divali (Diwali, Deepavali) is the Festival of Lights that symbolizes the lifting of spiritual darkness. Divali means an array of lamps (deep: lamp; vali: array) and, every year, it is celebrated by Hindus around the world with the lighting of diyas (similar to the ones shown in picture at right). A diya is a small clay pot that contains oil and a cotton wick that is lit. In Trinidad, coconut oil is used to keep the diyas burning.

Divali is observed on the new moon day (Amavasya, Amaavaasya) of the month of Kaartik (Kartik) in the Hindu calendar. Divali Day can occur any time between the 14th day (in the dark half) of the month of Aashwayuja and the 2nd day of the bright half of Kaartik. In 1966, Divali Day was proclaimed an annual public holiday in Trinidad and Hindus all over the country celebrate the occasion with pageants (see picture at left) and the lighting of diyas (see picture below).

According to the scholars, the origins of Divali are based both on harvesting festivals and the legends of India. The illumination (Hindu: Deepotsavas) and accompanying festivities are in celebration of: (1) wealth and prosperity; (2) the new year; and (3) the triumph of good over evil.

For more information on the origins and history of Hindu festivals, click here.


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