The Shepparton Interfaith Network says “Happy Diwali” to all Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists – and all others who are celebrating this festival of light in the Goulburn Valley, today, 11 November.
Across the world, hundreds of millions of homes are lighting up today to celebrate Diwali. Also known as Deepavali, or the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated by not only Hindus, but Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains alike. Diwali connects followers of multiple religions in celebrations of the victory of good over evil through the lighting of deeps or diyas (lamps) and each religion adds their own color to the Festival of Lights.
Diwali is a five-day festival in many regions of India, with Diwali night centering on the new moon – the darkest night – at the end of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin and the start of the month of Kartika. In the Common Era calendar, Diwali typically falls towards the end of October, or first half of November each year. The darkest night of autumn lit with diyas, candles and lanterns, makes the festival of lights particularly memorable. Diwali is also a festival of sounds and sights with fireworks and rangoli designs; the festival is a major celebration of flavors with feasts and numerous mithai (sweets, desserts), as well as a festival of emotions where Diwali ritually brings family and friends together every year.
CHANDIGARH, INDIA – NOVEMBER 10: People of city made portrait of Lord Buddha by lighting of approximate 4500 earthen lamps to spread peace and harmony on the eve of Diwali at Plaza sector 17 on November 10, 2015 in Chandigarh, India. Festival of light Diwali is one of the most important festival of India celebrated with lighting of diyas, bursting of crackers and exchange of sweets and gifts. Lord Ganesha and Godess Lakshmi were worshipped as symbol of wealth and prosperity. (Photo by Sanjeev Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)