Diwali pictures of candles on stairs

How did Hindus celebrate Diwali?

Diwali is one of the most celebrated Hindu holidays, with nearly two million British Indians coming together to celebrate the festival of lights.

The festival of lights, known as Diwali, is the most important festival of the Hindu year which is celebrated throughout India and its diaspora.

There are many ways to celebrate Diwali, and it often differs depending on the region of India.

In northern India, the festival celebrates the return of King Rama after defeating the demon Ravana by lighting hundreds of clay lamps.

The south of India celebrates a different story of light; honouring Lord Krishna for defeating the demon Narakasura.

Western Indian celebrations mark the day that the Lord Vishnu sent the demon King Bali to rule the nether world.

Celebrated over five days, people begin honouring their gods by cleaning their homes to welcome them into a clean home and bring good fortune.

Then the decorations begin: clay lamps (diyas) and rangoli patterns are brought out to create a colourful and lit environment.

Lakshmi puja falls on the third day of the festival and is the main day of Diwali.

Families light the diyas and send a prayer to the goddess Lakshmi to invite her to their homes, as she promises to bring prosperity and wealth to their homes.

Then comes the first day of the new year, when people come together to celebrate and give their best wishes for the new year.

On Sunday, homes were filled with lights as Hindus traveled around London to visit their families.

Luckily Diwali was on a weekend this year, so families had time to prepare and relax before the festivities started.

Usually, Diwali falls in the October half-term but came late this year on November 12th.

This year, Diwali and Hindu New Year fell a day apart instead of the day after one another.

For Diwali this year, my family and I spent the day decorating the house with flowers, diyas, and lights to welcome Lakshmi into our home.

After cleansing our gold and completing the Lakshmi puja, we lit every diya in the house and created more rangoli patterns.

Then we gathered for a meal to celebrate the festival before watching the fireworks at Neasden Temple.

On Tuesday, it was Hindu New Year.

I woke my family up with our New Year tradition of banging a steel plate with a metal spoon like a bong.

We then visit our friends and extended family to wish them a warm New Year, while we eat and drink our way to several houses.

When we got back home, we lit the diyas once again for our friends and family to come visit our home and eat all the snacks we prepared.

It was a wonderful Diwali, with lights filling my home and my stomach full with sweets.

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