[ dih-wah-lee, ‐vah‐, duh‐ ]
/ dɪˈwɑ li, ‐ˈvɑ‐, də‐ /
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Definition of Diwali

the Hindu festival of lights, celebrated as a religious holiday throughout India, falling between mid-October and mid-November.
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Also Di·va·li, De·wa·li .
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is Diwali?

Diwali is a major Hindu festival popularly called the “festival of lights.” Generally, Diwali is often considered a celebration of the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.

The festival commemorates different specific things in different places and among different communities. It is often associated with the goddess Lakshmi or with Rama (an avatar of the god Vishnu). For some Hindus, Diwali marks the start of the New Year.

Diwali is also celebrated by some Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, though they may interpret and observe it differently.

Diwali is a five-day festival, but its third day is typically observed as the main celebration.

Diwali is pronounced dih-WAH-lee or dih-VAH-lee and can also be spelled Divali and Dewali. Other variants include Deepavali and Deepawali.

When is Diwali?

In 2022, Diwali will take place from October 22–26,, with the main celebration on October 24. In 2023, Diwali is November 10–14, with the main celebration on November 12.

Diwali takes place during the Hindu calendar month of Kartik. Because the Hindu calendar is a lunisolar calendar, the corresponding dates change each year, but it is always observed in October or November. Diwali is always observed on a moonless night (that is, during the day of the new moon).

More information and context on Diwali

The name Diwali comes from a Sanskrit term meaning “row of lights.”

In many Hindu traditions, each day of Diwali has special significance and involves different observances and rituals. The third day is typically considered the main celebration. On this day, it is traditional to decorate with small lamps or candles called diyas.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing Diwali?

How is Diwali discussed in real life?

Diwali traditions and associations vary among different communities, but it is typically observed as a festive and celebratory time. Diwali is spelled in various ways.


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Diwali is a five-day festival.

How to use Diwali in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Diwali

/ (dɪˈwɑːlɪ) /

a major Hindu religious festival, honouring Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Held over the New Year according to the Vikrama calendar, it is marked by feasting, gifts, and the lighting of lamps
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012