Which religious festival is honored by at least three religions and celebrates the triumph of light over darkness?

And the answer: Diwali.
Photo credit: Aayush sharma 923. 

Known as the festival of lights, Diwali is India’s most important yearly festival, as it holds significance for Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism with nearly one billion observers across the country. Every October, Diwali’s five-day celebrations begin with prayer, feasts, family gatherings, and fireworks. The name comes from the Sanskrit word deepavali, meaning "row of lights."

Yesterday, October 24, 2022, was the first day of Diwali! The festival is considered to be an homage to the defeat of darkness—and what better way to celebrate it than bathing festivities in colorful decor and (of course) lights for four days each year. To best enjoy displays of firecrackers that are lit and hung from the walls of houses, as well as the colorful firework shows that decorate the night sky, Diwali is celebrated every October on a moonless night, or amavasya. Diwali is typically celebrated by exchanging gifts, visiting friends and family, wearing new clothes, feasting, feeding the poor, and even gambling, as it can help ensure good luck in the coming year.    

Different regions of India pay homage to different stories of bravery, courage, and history. In northern India, they celebrate the story of King Rama's return to Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana by lighting rows of clay lamps. Southern India celebrates it as the day that Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura, while in western India, the festival marks the day that Lord Vishnu, the Preserver (one of the main gods of the Hindu trinity) sent the demon King Bali to rule the nether world.

Celebrating Diwali in October also holds significance as the end of harvest season, and a time of great bounty. Farmers will offer their harvest to the goddess Lakshmi for prosperity.

Learn more about the celebration of Diwali here.

Question of the Day Mobile App


Learn something new everyday. Get the Question of the Day delivered to your inbox each day!

You've successfully subscribed to Question of the Day
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Question of the Day
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.