Diwali is considered to be the greatest and most important Hindu holiday. It’s name literally means “a row of lamps”, and it is essentially a festival of light, celebrating the victory over darkness, evil and ignorance.
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 diya – ritual lights, lit inside and outside the houses. First day of celebration is dedicated to preparations, like cleaning 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 anyway it is celebrated in every region with a significant Hindu diaspora, including Dubai. Although it’s not an official holiday in the UAE, the grand celebrations were held in recent years. The celebration lasts 10 days and will be a joint effort of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), Consulate General of India, Dubai Police, and Meraas’ Al Seef.
It will begin on November 7 with the diya lighting ceremony, officially displayed in UAE for the first time ever. Other events include live music and dancing performances, firework shows, supercar displays, holiday bazaar and even a marching bands parade from the Dubai police. And on November 10 Dubai residents and visitors are welcome to take part in a Guinness World Record attempt for the most people lighting LED lights.