Diwali is celebrated in autumn and lasts five days; the festivities start two days before the new moon that marks the beginning of the Hindu month Kartik. This day usually falls between mid-October and mid-November.
The main attribute of Diwali is the great number of diyas – ritual lights of sacred meaning, lit inside and outside the households. The first day of celebration is dedicated to preparations, like cleaning the house and shopping. The second day symbolizes deliverance from hell and suffering, on this day people buy or cook festive food. The third day, marking the climax of the festival coincides with the new moon. On this day celebrants put on their best clothes, perform rituals in worship of goddess Lakshmi, share family dinners, and light fireworks. The last two days honor the family bonds – between husbands and wives on the fourth day and between brothers and sisters on the fifth.
Diwali traditions may differ in some communities, but nevertheless, it is celebrated in every city with a significant Hindu diaspora. Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, and other major cities in the UAE celebrate Diwali. Although it’s not an official holiday in the Emirates, this celebration is very popular among the residents, and grand celebrations are held every year. They usually last for 10 days, and many destinations, such as the Al Seef complex by Meraas, The Pointe on Palm Jumeirah, The Beach on JBR, are organizing grand light shows with fireworks. Throughout the cities, hundreds of balconies on buildings and towers shine throughout the night with millions of colorful lights, bringing joy and happiness.