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Diwali/Deepavali in Canada

Quick Facts

Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year.

Local names

NameLanguage
Diwali/DeepavaliEnglish
Divālī/DīpāvalīFrench
Diwali/DipavaliGerman

Diwali/Deepavali 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Diwali/Deepavali 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
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 people in Canada celebrate Diwali each year.

Different colorful skylanterns lit on the occasion of Diwali festival in India

Diwali is also known as the "Festival of Lights".

©iStockphoto.com/thefinalmiracle

What do people do?

Many Canadians celebrate Diwali, which is known as the “Festival of Lights”. It is a joyous festival that attracts plenty of media and public attention in Canada. Various community groups, businesses, schools and associations celebrate Diwali each year. Some companies have corporate Diwali dinners and some communities organize carnivals or gatherings that feature firework displays.  Many Diwali festivals feature dances, street lighting, and plays.

Many women wear fine jewelry and silk outfits to celebrate Diwali. Some women and girls use mehendi, which is a temporary henna decoration, on their palms. Many homes that celebrate Diwali have assorted sweets, savories and Diwali herbs. Various lights, candles and sparklers are lit inside and outside homes, particularly in courtyards, on Diwali.

Public life

Diwali is not a nationwide public holiday in Canada but it is a large festival celebrated in many towns and cities. 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.

Background

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”.

Symbols

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 countries

Read more about Diwali/Deepavali.

Diwali/Deepavali Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
TueNov 12005Diwali/DeepavaliObservance 
SatOct 212006Diwali/DeepavaliObservance 
FriNov 92007Diwali/DeepavaliObservance 
TueOct 282008Diwali/DeepavaliObservance 
SatOct 172009Diwali/DeepavaliObservance 
FriNov 52010Diwali/DeepavaliObservance 
WedOct 262011Diwali/DeepavaliObservance 
TueNov 132012Diwali/DeepavaliObservance 
SunNov 32013Diwali/DeepavaliObservance 
WedOct 222014Diwali/DeepavaliObservance 
WedNov 112015Diwali/DeepavaliObservance 

Other holidays in October 2014 in Canada

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