#EngKnowledge: Diwali Festival

A 100-foot Ferris wheel in Leicester. A new major addition for this year's Diwali Festival.

A 100-foot Ferris wheel in Leicester. A new major addition for this year’s Diwali Festival.

Good evening, fellas! We’re back. How was your day? I have just finished skyping with my friends in Singapore who celebrated Diwali festival yesterday. Apparently, Diwali festival is a national holiday in Singapore.

Not only in Singapore, Diwali festival is also celebrated in other countries, including in UK. Well, what is Diwali festival? Does anyone know?

Diwali is a five-day festival celebrating light, knowledge and good nature. Diwali – derived from the Sanskrit, “deepawali”, meaning “row of lights” – also marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. In Hinduism, light is seen as a metaphor for self-improvement, self-awareness and community, and its celebration allows followers to reaffirm their commitment to such values.

Some followers will pray for good business prospects in the months to come. Most Diwali celebrations around the world focus on family and friends. Outside India also, as Diwali approaches, people clean their home to escape bad luck in the upcoming year and families gather for a feast and stay up late, celebrating with the help of crackers and sweets. They believe that the Hindu goddess of good luck visits homes that are brightly lit.

Fireworks displays have become an integral part of Diwali celebrations both in India and around the world, all the more because the festival takes place around the night of the new moon (Amavasya).

This timelapse video shows the displays taking place over the city of Vijayawada, in Andhra Pradesh province, India.

One of the biggest Diwali events outside India takes place in Leicester, UK. Hindu is the third biggest religion in the city. In Leicester, celebrations attract more than 35,000 people to the Belgrave Road for the switch-on of its lights, and for the Diwali Day event. From 5pm the city’s busy Belgrave Road will become a pedestrian-friendly arena hosting Indian dancing, music and dhol drumming, building up to the switch-on of the Diwali lights at 7.30pm. This year, there is a major new addition to the event, the Wheel of Light – a 100-foot illuminated Ferris wheel.

Compiled and written by @faridardian for @EnglishTips4u on Nov 11, 2015

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