Deepavali (also spelled Devali in certain regions) or Diwali,[note 1] popularly known as the "festival of lights," is primarily a five day Hindu festival[1] which starts on Dhanteras, celebrated on thirteenth lunar day of Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) of the Hindu calendar month Ashwin and ends on Bhaubeej, celebrated on second lunar day of Shukla paksha (bright fortnight) of the Hindu calendar month Kartik. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali falls between mid-October and mid-November. Diwali is an official holiday in India,[2] Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.

Diwali is celebrated in various parts of the world, particularly those with large populations of Hindu and Sikh origin. These include countries such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Guyana, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago,( Zimbabwe) the Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BCE.[3][4] Arya Samajists, celebrate this day as Death Anniversary of Swami Dayanand Saraswati. They also celebrate this day as Shardiya Nav-Shasyeshti.

Diwali has a very special significance in Jainism. It is celebrated as Deva Devali around the full moon day (Purnima) of Kartik.

Sikh festival Bandi Chhor Divas falls on the day of Diwali. Devotees of the Sikh faith celebrate this festival during between the end of October and the middle of November, the celebration of Diwali is done by Sikhs because it rejoices the time when the sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind Singh was released from his imprisonment.

The founder of Arya Samaj Swami Dayanand had died on Kartik Amawasya (30 October 1883). Followers of Arya Samaj celebrate Rishi Nirvanotsav as his Death Anniversary on this Day.

Shardiya Nav-Shasyeshti is also celebrated by Arya Samaj Community as welcome of winter Season.

The Marwari New Year is celebrated on the day of the festival of Diwali,

The Gujarati New Year is celebrated the day after the festival of Diwali

The Nepal Era New year is celebrated in regions encompassing original Nepal. The new year occurs in the fourth day of Diwali.

In Nepal, Diwali is known as "Tihar" or "Swanti". It is celebrated during the October/November period. Here the festival is celebrated for five days and the traditions vary from those followed in India.

In Sri Lanka, this festival is also called "Deepavali" and is celebrated by the Tamil community. On this day, it is traditional for people to take an oil bath in the morning, wear new clothes, exchange gifts, performing Poosai(Pūjā), and a visit to the Koil(Hindu Temple) is normal.[19] Burning of firecrackers in the evening of the festival is a common practice of this festival.

In Malaysia, Diwali festival is celebrated during the seventh month of the Hindu solar calendar. It is a federal public holiday throughout Malaysia.

In Singapore, Diwali festival is a gazetted public holiday. Observed primarily by the minority Indian community (Tamils),

In Trinidad and Tobago, communities all over the islands get together and celebrate the festival. One major celebration that stands out is the Diwali Nagar, or Village of the Festival of Lights.

In Britain, Hindus celebrate Diwali with great enthusiasm. People clean and decorate their homes with lamps and candles.

In Fiji, Diwali is a Public Holiday and is a religious event celebrated together by Hindus (who constitute close to a third of Fiji's population),

In the United States, with increasing Indian population, Diwali is assuming significant importance year after year. Diwali was first celebrated in the White House in 2003 and was given official status by the United States Congress in 2007 by the former president George W. Bush.

In Australia, Diwali is celebrated publicly among the people of Indian origin and the local Australians in Melbourne. On 21 July 2002 an organisation “The Australian Indian Innovations Incorporated” (AIII) consisting of a conglomerate of independent organisations and individuals was formed to celebrate Indian Festivals in Melbourne.

Sunday, 3 November

The festival of Bhau-beej or Bhai Tika or Bhai Phota is celebrated by Hindus on the last day of the five-day-long Diwali festival. This is the second day of the bright fortnight or Shukla Paksha of the Hindu month of Kartika. On this day, sisters pray for their brothers to have long and happy lives by performing the Tika ceremony, and brothers give gifts to their sisters.

The festival is known as:

Bhai Phota (Bengali) in Bengal and it takes place every year on the first or the second day of the Kali Puja festival.
Bhai Bij, Bhau-beej or Bhav Bij amongst the Marathi and Konkani-speaking communities in the states of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka;
Bhai Tika in Nepal, where it is the second most important festival after Vijaya Dashami.
In Manipur this festival is celebrated under the name Ningol Chakuba. Brother-Sister bonding is present here also.
Another name for the day is Yamadwitheya or Yamadvitiya, after a legendary meeting between Yama the god of Death and his sister Yamuna (the famous river) on Dwitheya (the second day after new moon).
Other names include Bhai Dooj, Bhathru Dwithiya, Bhai Tika and Bhatri Ditya. 



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