What Is Diwali?

Diwali is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. It is a time of feasting, families, and festive decorations much like Christmas in the West. Diwali is aptly called the Festival of Lights.

All across India, people celebrate by hanging millions of lights on their windows and doors, along their rooftops or anywhere else imaginable. While people in different parts of India tell different stores about the origins of Diwali, all of them celebrate the victory of good over evil, the banishment of darkness by light, and the hope which ends despair. The festival itself spans five days, each with its own theme and traditions:

Day one brings a fresh start as people clean their homes, decorate and shop for gold and kitchen utensils.

On the second day clay lamps are hung around the home and design patterns known as rangoli on the floor with colored sand.

The third day brings the main festival with savory feasts. Families gather together for the Lakshmi puja, a prayer to Goddess Lakshmi.

Day four is the first day of the New Year, celebrated with fireworks.

On the last day of Diwali it is customary friends and relatives gather to exchange greetings and gifts of new clothing. Brothers visit the homes of their married sisters who greet them with loving hearts and lavish feasts.

At HoPE Learning Centers, the children look forward to the feasts (and the new clothes) provided by our generous sponsors. They are ever thankful for the blessings which your donations bring to their lives.

 Even if you are a regular sponsor of a child or a HoPE Learning Center, you can still make a bigger difference in their lives on this day of light! Please make a special one-time gift to provide food and clothing on this very special day.

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