Holidays and Regular Observances

What is the celebration called Divali?

Divali is one of the most important and widely celebrated of all Hindu observances. Also called Dipavali, or “Row of Lights,” this feast occurs in mid-autumn (October or November—technically from the 13th of Ashvina’s dark half to the 2nd of Karttika’s bright half), composed of five distinct day-long festivities devoted to such mythic events as Krishna’s conquest of two demons and Shiva’s reconciliation with Parvati. Shaivites and Vaishnavites alike observe the occasion, marking it as theirs by dedicating the middle night of the five to either Kali’s control of Shiva under control or Vishnu’s consort Lakshmi, respectively. Socially speaking, the feast belongs to the merchant castes. Divali, strictly so-called, occurs on the fourth day, recalling Rama’s return to his royal throne in Ayodhya to end his fourteen-year exile.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Religion Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App