Diwali, “Deepavali” or “The Festival of Lights” is one of the biggest and most popular festivals, which is mainly celebrated in India and also in countries like Nepal, Fiji, Guyana, Pakistan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. On this auspicious occasion, houses, streets, temples, public places and monuments are decked with colored lights, candles and ‘diyas’ or earthen lamps, which, no doubt, present a mesmerizing sight!

People of all ages enjoy this event to the fullest, bursting crackers and getting dressed in their best outfits. Fireworks of different colors and patterns light up the sky and one can even get to see sky lanterns during this time, which is believed to be a symbol of wish fulfillment. Diwali has a major significance in India, which is celebrated every year in autumn, and is considered an official holiday. It signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair.

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Before Diwali, people clean, decorate and renovate their homes and offices. Beautiful ‘Rangoli’ designs or a popular folk art is a common ritual on Diwali. There are family pujas on Diwali night, offered typically to Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and fertility. There is exchange of sweets and gifts between friends and family members.

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In the western world, Halloween, also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve is a big event, which is celebrated in most countries on 31st October. It’s a day dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and all the faithful departed. Many believe that Halloween traditions are derived from Celtic harvest festivals which may have pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic festival ‘Samhain’, which later was Christianized as Halloween. However, many view Halloween solely as a Christian festival and holiday. Among popular Halloween activities are trick-or-treating, Halloween costume parties, carving jack-o’-lanterns out of pumpkins, bonfires, apple bobbing, playing pranks, visiting haunted mansions and attractions, watching horror films and telling spooky stories. There are also special Halloween home decor and food items.

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So Halloween follows Diwali, and both the festivals evoke a lot of interest and excitement among the young and old. So get ready for a fun or scary dress-up idea or do something creepy…make the most of this Halloween!  😊 😊

Happy & spine-chilling Halloween to all! 👿