As the month of Ashvin comes to an end and Kartika starts, the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, is celebrated around the world.
Diwali marks the Hindu New Year. One of the biggest events in the Hindu calendar, the festival falls each year on the darkest night at the end of the lunar month Ashvin. This usually occurs sometime around October or November.
This year, Diwali 2017 will begin on Thursday, 19 October.
Celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Newar Buddhists, the start of Diwali coincides with the death of Narakasura, a powerful demon that discovered love and kindness at the last moment.
As the story goes, Narakasura asked for people to celebrate the day of his death as the day that light prevailed over darkness.
As a result, Diwali celebrates good’s triumph over evil each year with candles, colourful decorations and huge firework displays.
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Where can you celebrate Diwali 2017?
Diwali is a national holiday in many parts of the world, including India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji and Trinidad and Tobago. However, it is common to see the festival of lights celebrates elsewhere too.
If you’re wondering how to celebrate Diwali 2017 where you are, or want to find out more about the festival of lights, here are some events worth checking out:
London, United Kingdom
British Parliament Diwali Celebrations – 23 October, 6pm-8pm London time
British politician Bob Blackman has teamed up with the Satkarma Humanitarian Youth Awakening Mission to put on the 16th annual Diwali celebration at the House of Commons.
The event will include talks on this year’s theme, Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. The event promises access to leading figures, including politicians, professionals and scholars with a wealth of knowledge on the celebration.
Diwali Festival 2017 – 15 October, 12:00pm-6:30pm London time
Asian Events Media have organised a fun-filled day of celebration at Queensbury Park in Harrow this Sunday.
With bright, clear skies forecast, Diwali Festival 2017 will be a great way to enjoy the few hours of sunshine that London has left to offer this year.
With live DJs, traditional performers and dancers, there will be plenty to keep you entertained. There will also be rides and activities to keep the kids occupied. The best part? It’s free.
Los Angeles, United States
DiwaliPop – 20 October, 1am-3am London time
Hosted by Aakansha Maheshwari, the founder of popular dance company BollyPop, those in Los Angeles can welcome in the New Year with dance.
Dance along to the latest Bollywood hits in a class that promises to “rejuvenates the mind, builds strength and brings positive change”, with tickets available for $10.
Festival of Lights in San Diego – 3 November, 5am-9am London time
Celebrate Diwali at Queen Bee’s Art & Cultural Center in San Diego with famed Bollywood entertainer DJ Prashant.
Pick out your brightest costume and dance and sing the night away to the latest Bollywood and Bhangra hits.
New York, United States
Diwali Night – 28 October, 23:30pm-5am London time
The New Jersey Punjabi Cultural Society will be keeping their Diwali 2017 celebrations light-hearted. Their event offers a fun-filled night of food, music and dance.
Catch a performance from Bollywood rock band Déjà vu and dance to the beats of Punjabi specialists DJ Sunny Entertainment, with tickets costing $80.
Diwali Festival of Lights – 4 November, 7:30pm-9:30pm London time
Berkley Heights YMCA has teamed up with The Berkley heights Diversity Committee to deliver an event that everyone can enjoy.
There will be a talk on the history of Diwali for those that want to find out more, as well as music, singing and dancing throughout, with Indian cuisine from the Bombay Bistro to top it all off.
This is also one of few Diwali events that offers the chance to create your own rangoli art using coloured rice, flower petals and flour to create patterns on the floor.
Diwali Festival at Elara – 22 October, 6am-8am London time
There isn’t a whole lot going on in the Australian capital. However, the celebrations at the Elara Community Hub should offer more than enough fun to welcome in the New Year.
Free to attend and open to everyone, Elara has promised a “colourful” day. There will be Bollywood dancing, traditional music, nice food and fun for the children.