Every year Dubai gets into the Diwali Spirit, a happy occasion high in colors, light, beauty, and festivities that bring people together.
Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is one of the major festivals of India but adopted here in Dubai and many other major cities in the world for years now.
Diwali, or Dipawali, is India's biggest and most important holiday of the year. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects them from spiritual darkness. This festival is as important to Hindus as the Christmas holiday is to Christians.
The religious significance of Diwali varies regionally within India. In the north of India, it is associated with the return of Lord Ram after 14 years of exile and after defeating Ravana, the king of Sri Lanka. In contrast, the east of India associates the festival with the goddess Kali, who symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
People light up their houses with traditional "diyas" and share sweets and gifts. Cities all over India and many other countries where the Indian diaspora is present celebrate the festival of lights with impressive, beautiful fireworks.
How is Diwali Celebrated?
Diwali is celebrated for five days:
• DAY ONE: The first day of Diwali in Dubai begins with buying a utensil of brass/silver/gold. It is considered a very sacred day to shop the markets of Dubai for decorations, lights, sweets, and materials of daily use. Markets of Dubai are filled with people, and sweet shops flourish with hustling customers. People also buy gifts for family and friends, ranging from sweets to gold/silver jewelry.
• DAY TWO: A Day preceding the main festival, this day is to make all the arrangements for the next day, including making sweets at home, visiting close family and friends, and sharing gifts. Households and buildings are lit up with lights, diyas, and candles.
• DAY THREE: On the main day of the festival, families gather for Lakshmi puja, a prayer to Goddess Lakshmi, followed by mouth-watering feasts and firework festivities.
• DAY FOUR: This is the first day of the new year when friends and relatives visit with gifts and best wishes for the season.
• DAY FIVE: Brothers visit their married sisters, who welcome them with love and a lavish meal.
Whether you're celebrating Diwali in your home away from home or looking to explore a different culture, immerse yourself in all the dazzling festivities, and happy Diwali!
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