Diwali/Deepavali in Australia
Quick FactsDiwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year.
Diwali/Deepavali 2013Sunday, November 3, 2013
Diwali/Deepavali 2014Thursday, October 23, 2014
List of dates for other years
Diwali (Dīvali, Dīpāwali, or Deepavali) is a festival of lights observed on the 15th day of the month of Kartika in the Hindu calendar. Many events are held in Australia to celebrate Diwali.
What do people do?
Large-scale Diwali events, such as fairs and carnivals, are held in cities such as Melbourne and Sydney. These events often feature:
- Organized firework displays.
- Food stalls with assorted Diwali sweets, savories and herbs.
- Dancing and musical performances.
- Stalls offering henna paintings.
- People burning the effigy of the demon king Ravana.
Many people wear their finest clothes to celebrate Diwali. Many women wear jewelry and silk outfits and some have mehendi, which is a temporary henna decoration, on their palms. Various lights, lanterns, and candles lit at Diwali events, as well as in and around some private homes.
Diwali is not a nationwide public holiday in Australia. However, there may be traffic congestion and parking places may be full in areas where events are held to celebrate Diwali. Some Indian businesses may close early on Diwali. There have been public requests for Diwali to be listed as a restricted business trading day previously. Cricket match dates between India and Australia were also planned to avoid clashes with Diwali in the past.
Diwali is called the Festival of Lights and is celebrated to honor Rama-chandra, the seventh avatar (incarnation of the god Vishnu). It is believed that on this day Rama returned to his people after 14 years of exile during which he fought and won a battle against the demons and the demon king, Ravana. People lit their houses to celebrate his victory over evil (light over darkness).
The goddess of happiness and good fortune, Lakshmi, also figures into the celebration. It is believed that she roams the earth on this day and enters the house that is pure, clean, and bright. Diwali celebrations may vary in different communities but its significance and spiritual meaning is generally “the awareness of the inner light”.
Lamps, fireworks and bonfires illuminate this holiday, as the word “Deepawali” means “a row or cluster of lights” or “rows of diyas (clay lamps)”. The festival symbolizes the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. The goddess Lakshmi, who symbolizes wealth, happiness and prosperity, is also worshipped during Diwali.
About Diwali/Deepavali in other countriesRead more about Diwali/Deepavali.
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Other holidays in November 2013 in Australia
- All Saints' Day ―Friday, November 1, 2013
- All Souls' Day ―Saturday, November 2, 2013
- Recreation Day ―Monday, November 4, 2013
- Muharram/Islamic New Year ―Tuesday, November 5, 2013
- Melbourne Cup Day ―Tuesday, November 5, 2013
- Remembrance Day ―Monday, November 11, 2013
- First Day of Hanukkah ―Thursday, November 28, 2013
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