Diwali 2023: Date, Significance and celebration.

Posted on October 7th, 2023 06:35 PM

Diwali, the festival of lights, is a dazzling spectacle that casts a radiant glow across the Indian subcontinent and beyond. Diwali, derived from the Sanskrit word "Deepavali," literally means a row of lights, and these lights symbolize the triumph of good over evil and the victory of light over darkness. During this divine fiesta, the darkest corners of lives are brightened by the glow of countless diyas (oil lamps) and the twinkle of colourful lanterns. It's a time when homes come alive with the warm embrace of tradition, and the air is filled with the sweet scent of incense and the tantalizing aroma of delectable sweets. Beyond the visual spectacle, Diwali holds deep spiritual and cultural significance for millions of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists worldwide.


When is Diwali Celebrated?

Diwali is celebrated on the fifteenth day of Kartik, the holiest month in the Hindu lunar calendar. The festival typically falls in October or November, depending on the Gregorian calendar. Diwali 2023 falls on 12th November.

Diwali is a 5-day festival, each day holding its own significance. The respective dates of all Diwali days in 2023 are as follows:


The festivities of Diwali start with Dhanteras, which falls on the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight of Kartik. On this day, people invest in precious metals like gold and silver. It is believed that buying new items and starting new ventures on Dhanteras brings prosperity and good luck.

Chhoti Diwali/Kali Chaudas/Narak Chaturdasi.

The day before Diwali is known by various names across India. It's called Chhoti Diwali in the North, Kali Chaudas in Gujarat, and Narak Chaturdasi in the Southern regions. It falls on the 14th day of Kartik and is a day to celebrate the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon Narakasura. People light oil lamps or diyas to symbolize the victory of light over darkness.


The main day of Diwali, which falls on the new moon day of Kartik, is the most awaited. Homes and streets are beautifully decorated with colourful rangoli, diyas, and candles. Families gather for prayers, exchange gifts, and burst fireworks. On the auspicious day of Diwali, people worship Maa Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is believed that she visits homes on this day, bringing blessings and prosperity. The highlight of Diwali night is the spectacular display of fireworks lighting up the night sky.

Govardhan Puja/New Year.

The day after Diwali is celebrated as Govardhan Puja in many parts of India. It commemorates the lifting of the Govardhan Hill by Lord Krishna to protect the villagers from torrential rain. In Gujarat and some Northern regions, it marks the beginning of the New Year according to the Vikram Samvat calendar. People exchange best wishes and seek blessings for the year ahead.

Bhai Dooj.

The fifth and final day of Diwali is Bhai Dooj. It celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. Sisters perform aarti for their brothers, apply tilak on their foreheads, and exchange gifts. It symbolizes the love and affection between siblings and strengthens the family bonds.

Why is Diwali celebrated?

People across the nation celebrate Diwali because of different reasons. Almost every legend associated with Diwali signify the victory of righteousness and the vanquishing of ignorance.

  • In North and West India, Diwali is celebrated for rejoicing Bhagwan Rama, his wife and his brother’s return to its native land Ayodhya after killing mighty Ravana. According to the epic Ramayana, Lord Rama, accompanied by Hanuman and his army of monkeys, embarked on an epic journey to rescue Sita, who had been abducted by Ravana. After a fierce battle, Rama defeated Ravana on the day of Dusheera, rescued Sita, and returned home to Ayodhya. The people of Ayodhya celebrated their return by lighting lamps, symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.
  • For South Indians, especially for Tamilians and Telgus it’s the day to honour Bhagwan Krishna’s victory over the demon Narakasura,. They celebrate it on Naraka Chaturdashi, a day before Diwali.
  • On the auspicious day of Diwali, Maa Lakshmi was believed to be born from Samundra Manthan. She chose supreme Lord Vishnu as her husband on the same night and married him.
  • Sikhs mark Diwali as a bandi chod diwas. It depicts the release of Guru Hargobind Ji along with 52 Hindu kings from the imprisonment of Mughal emperor Jahangir, emphasizing freedom and justice
  • Jains celebrate this occasion as the day Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara, attained nirvana, signifying spiritual enlightenment.

The common thread through these diverse traditions is the celebration of inner light, knowledge, and the triumph of the human spirit.

How is Diwali celebrated in India?

The preparation for this divine festival starts many days before its actual arrival after all, its India’s beloved fiesta.

House cleaning.

Diwali preparations commence weeks in advance with a thorough house cleaning. Families engage in a frenzy of sweeping, mopping, and decluttering, symbolizing the removal of negativity and welcoming the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, into their homes.



Once the house is sparkling clean, the next step is adorning it with colorful decorations. Vibrant torans (door hangings), marigold garlands, beautiful Tea light candles and mango leaves are used to embellish entrances, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Lighting Diyas and drawing rangolis.

Diwali is synonymous with the illumination of oil lamps or diyas. These lamps are placed both inside and outside homes, casting a warm, golden glow that symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. Additionally, intricate rangolis, made with coloured powders or flower petals, adorn the thresholds of homes, adding to the festive spirit.

Performing Pujas.

At the heart of Diwali celebrations are the religious rituals and pujas. On the main day of Diwali, families gather for a puja (prayer ceremony) where they offer prayers and seek blessings from deities. The lighting of diyas and incense during this time is not just a tradition but also a deeply spiritual act, signifying the illumination of the soul.

Enjoying Diwali Feasts and Sweets.

No Indian festival is complete without delicious food. Families prepare a variety of mouthwatering dishes, including sweets like ladoos, jalebis, kheer and gulab jamun. Savoury snacks like samosas and pakoras are also on the menu. Sharing these delights with friends and neighbours is a common practice during Diwali.


Get Ready for the festivities.

As Diwali approaches, the excitement in the air is palpable. Families shop for new clothes and jewellery, enhancing the sense of anticipation. It is a time for renewal and rejuvenation, as people put on their finest attire and look their best to celebrate the occasion.


Firework fun.

In addition to these customs, fireworks and crackers light up the night skies, adding a visual spectacle to the celebrations.

Summing up:

Diwali is a festival that embodies the spirit of joy, unity, and renewal. As the diyas light up homes and hearts, Diwali reminds us of the eternal triumph of light over darkness and the importance of goodness in our lives. It's a time to embrace traditions, create lasting memories, and share the warmth of this beautiful festival with loved ones. So, this Diwali, may your life be filled with the radiance of a thousand diyas, and may it bring you happiness, prosperity, and endless moments of togetherness.

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