Diwali 2023 Date in India: When is Diwali in 2023?
Diwali (Deepavali) 2023 Date in India: Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is a significant festival celebrated by millions of people across India and the globe. Known as the Festival of Lights, it symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. This year, Diwali will be celebrated on Sunday, November 12, 2023, according to the Hindu lunar calendar. The festival usually falls on the 15th day of Kartik, a day of ‘amavasya’ or new moon.
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The festivities of Diwali often span five days, each day with its own unique traditions and customs. Many people spend these days cleaning their homes and yards as a form of spiritual purification. They decorate their spaces with tiny electric lights or small clay oil lamps, known as ‘diyas’, which are seen as physical and spiritual symbols of light. Bowls of water with candles and flowers floating on the surface also form part of these vibrant decorations.
People often take special baths with water and fragrant oils, wear new clothes, and exchange gifts with family members, close friends, and business associates. Sweets are a common gift, symbolizing the sharing of joy and prosperity.
Fireworks are a significant part of the celebration, with spectacular displays lighting up the night sky. Melas, or fairs, are held in many towns and villages, bringing communities together in celebration. It is important to note that the exact date of Diwali can vary across different regions in India due to variations in the interpretation of the lunar calendar. For instance, in Tamil Nadu, Deepavali is celebrated in the Tamil month of Aipasi.
Public Life During Diwali
Diwali is a national holiday in India. Government offices, post offices, and banks remain closed on this day. Many commercial establishments may either remain closed or operate with reduced hours. However, transportation is usually unaffected as many locals travel for religious celebrations. Those wishing to use public transport are advised to check with local transport authorities for any changes in transit schedules.
The Rich History Behind Diwali
Diwali holds a deep historical and spiritual significance for many Indians. It commemorates the return of Lord Rama, his wife Sita, and his brother Lakshmana to their kingdom Ayodhya after a 14-year exile, a story recounted during the Dussehra festival. The people of Ayodhya lit rows of clay lamps, or ‘diyas’, to celebrate their return, giving birth to the tradition of lighting lamps on Diwali.
In addition, the goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu, is worshipped on Diwali. Lakshmi symbolizes wealth and prosperity, reflecting the festival’s association with the end of the cropping season. In West Bengal, the festival is celebrated as “Kali Puja”, with the worship of Kali, Shiva’s consort. In Southern India, the festival often commemorates the defeat of the Asura Naraka, a king who imprisoned many people, believed to have been freed by Krishna.
Beyond Hinduism, Diwali holds significance for other religions as well. Many Buddhists mark the anniversary of Emperor Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism around Diwali. Followers of Jainism observe the attainment of nirvana by Lord Mahavir on this day. Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhorh Divas, which marks the return of the sixth Nanak, Guru Har Gobind, from detention, coinciding with Diwali.
When is Diwali 2023 in India?
Diwali is typically celebrated on the 15th day of the Hindu month of Kartik, which varies according to the lunar calendar. It is also a gazetted holiday where government offices and most businesses are closed so people have a day off work.
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