Diwali is a festival of light which originated in South Asia and is celebrated over five days. The dates change every year, but it is always celebrated in October or November and is now celebrated around the world.

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Diwali comes from the word deepavali, which means ‘rows of lighted lamps’. During the festival, these lamps, called diyas, are used everywhere. They symbolise the victory of light over darkness, or good over evil.

Diwali is celebrated differently in different regions and by different religions and is a bank holiday in many countries, including India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius, Fiji, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. It is often considered a Hindu festival, but in fact it is also celebrated by Sikhs, Jains and Newari Buddhists.

Here are some of the things that happen during the five days of Diwali.

Day One – Dhanteras, or Day of Fortune

The first day has a focus on fortune, both good luck and money or valuables. People may wash money to show that they intend to use it to do good in the world. It is also a day for helping people who are not as well off.

It is a lucky day for buying gold and silver and other metals, so people often buy jewellery or cars, or anything made of metal. It is estimated that last year Indians spent about $3.9 billion during Diwali.

People also make sure that their houses are clean, ready to welcome in Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, in the evening.

Day Two – Naraka Chaturdashi

According to Hindu stories, the demon Narakasura was killed on this day. The day is all about getting rid of anything bad. People get up early and wash and put on clean or new clothes.

Afterwards, they will celebrate by having a special breakfast with their friends and family. This day, also known as Chhoti Diwali, is a day for visiting friends, business associates and relatives, and for exchanging gifts.  

Day Three – Diwali

In most regions, this is the most important day of the festival. It is the last day of the year in many regions of India. The story goes that on this day, Lord Rama rescued his wife, Sita, from the demon Ravana. Candles are lit to celebrate his victory, and to light his way home after the battle. In the evening, people may set off fireworks.

Day Four – Annakut

Annakut means ‘mountain of food’. Hindus prepare a great deal of food and take it to the temple to celebrate the beginning of the new year.

Food is important throughout the period of Diwali, especially traditional sweet treats such as gulab jamun (a very sweet deep-fried doughnut), kheer (a creamy dessert made with rice) or barfi (a sweet made with condensed milk and sugar).

Day Five – Bhai Dhooj

This is the last day of Diwali, and it also sometimes celebrates the relationship between brother and sister. Brothers may visit their married sisters’ homes, and they will take gifts.

A universal symbol

Diwali is celebrated by millions of people in India and across the world. The festival marks different historical events and stories for each faith that celebrates it, but for all the faiths it symbolises the victory of good over evil, and darkness over light, which means something to all of us.

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I am from Turkey. We have two important bank holiday. 29 of October is National holiday. We celebrate that independence of Turkey. Other is raligion holiday is after ramadan month we celebrate ramadan. We are meeting with our relatives, friends and exchange gifts.

Now I know about Diwali that it's a five-day festival. Quite interesting of the this culture and common things done each day.
Thanks BC

El-aid is one of the most important festivals in eygpt.It is a religouse festival . it is celebrated in the all muslim countries and it is a bank holiday .it always comes after ramadan as a celebration of ending fast. it is celebrated over three days .In the first day ,muslims pray outdoors after sunrise .then we visit relatives and friends over the rest days of the festival.children gets el-adia which means 'money'.During the festival we have traditional sweet called al-kahk

The most important day in my country is Sant Jordi's day. We celebrated in April 23 every year. It's our Valentine's day!
The streets are filled with small shops where the gentelman can buy a rose to give his lady, and she a book for him (or vice versa, although the tradition says so..)
All family members receive a present, but also between co-workers, friends, teachers, neighborgs..
It's a happy day and I like it!