Learn a little more about one of the biggest Festivals of Light and Join us on your campus for Diwali crafts!
You’ll find there are many Festivals of Light around this time of year, particularly for the Northern Hemisphere. As our days get colder and darker many cultures look for the light to guide us forward.
Diwali is just one of these festivals, celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists. There are several narratives or versions of myth depicting the origins of Diwali, however, it is commonly seen as a holiday representing the triumph against evil and the restoration of balance.
For some Hindus, Diwali also signifies the start of a new year, under the Hindu lunar calendar marked by the moon’s orbit around the earth. This means, for those of us who follow the Gregorian calendar, Diwali could fall differently each year but typically over October or November.
Diwali is a time when communities come together to share in the joy of the festivities, dressing in their brightest and best clothes, dancing and feasting together; sharing gifts and sweet treats. These celebrations may look a little different depending on where you are in the world: In places such as India, homes, streets and temples are decorated as far as the eye can see with bright lights, lanterns, garlands and rangoli, a type of decorative sand art. Here in the UK, the City of Leicester claims the title of the largest Diwali celebration outside of India with processions, fireworks, funfair rides and their Diwali lights switch on. In other parts of the UK Diwali celebrations may be more intimate and family-oriented, with prayers and celebrations taking place at home or in local temples.
As a festival of light, you may be more familiar with the symbol of the Diya, an oil lamp crafted from clay or mud. Throughout Diwali, celebrants fill every nook and cranny of their homes, particularly the entrances and/or boundaries. Diyas not only decorate but provide light and dispel the darkness- a physical representation of the triumph of light over dark. More symbolically the light provided by the little lamps represents enlightenment and prosperity for the year ahead.
Interested in learning more about Diwali?
Read more about Diwali through National Geographic and Royal Museums Greenwich or check out the Google Arts and Culture Teams Illustrated guide to Diwali Myths and Legends here.
You can also join us for Diwali crafts on your campus on
FRI 10 NOV 11AM – 2PM
Canterbury Reception | Epsom outside SU office | Farnham top of canteen
We’re painting Diyas! Share your Diwali celebrations and crafts with us on Instagram by tagging us (@UCSAU) in your stories and posts for a chance to be featured in our story.