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Diwali (or Divali) is a Hindu festival of light that is celebrated every year in October or November. The date changes because the Hindu calendar follows the cycles of the moon and so in 2015, Diwali will be celebrated on November 11. Diwali celebrates the defeat of an evil demon called Ravana by a handsome hero called Rama – who Hindus believe was the God Vishnu in human form.
Sikhs and Jains also celebrate Diwali. For Sikhs it remembers the events of 1619 when Guru Hargobind was released from his imprisonment in the Gwalior Fort, along with 52 princes. For Jains it celebrates Lord Mahavira’s attainment of enlightenment in 527 BC. He was the last of the Jains’ 24 holy leaders.
Diwali Web Links:
Further links to support classroom explorations of Diwali:
Learn about the celebration of Diwali, including suggested classroom activities and links to other material on the RE:Online website
This article would be very useful as a discussion starter with Senior Students: Think Piece: Hindu Concepts through the Festivals