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Hindus around the world will celebrate Diwali this weekend, one of the most significant religious festivals of the year. Mid-November will see some spectacular displays during an especially dark time for the world, as the Festival of Lights celebrates the victory of good over evil. Diwali’s timetable is not cemented in place like other religious festivals and tends to move around the calendar.
When does Diwali end?
The beginning of Diwali depends on which calendar revellers go by.
Hindu worshippers use their own fit-for-purpose calendar which has different variations but uses the same month and day cycles.
According to these lunisolar calendars, Diwali falls on Amavasya, during a New Moon on the 15th day of Kartik.
Hindus worship Kartik as the holiest month on the Hindu calendar, outlining the significance of Diwali.
Translated to the western Gregorian calendar, an exclusively solar instrument, Diwali falls on November 14.
The entire festival takes place over five days, with the first on November 13, the main event during the third day, and another three days of celebration afterwards.
The third day, known as Amavasya, is worshipped as a New Moon forms, which falls between two days this year.
Astrologers have determined the lunar cycle pins Diwali on November 14 and 15, but worshippers will perform rituals on the 14th.
The remaining three days mean the Festival of Lights concludes on November 16 this year.
Each day of the festival has a different meaning and name in Hindu culture.
The first, known as Dhanteras, focuses on wealth and marks the day Lord Dhanvantari brought Ayurveda and the nectar of immortality to mankind.
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People use the first day to buy gold and other precious metals while gathering to play cards and gamble.
The second day, known as Naraka Chaturdasi, marks the day the Goddess Kali and Lord Krishna destroyed the demon Narakasura.
The third, Amavasya, which falls between November 14 and 15, is the darkest of the month and will see people worship Lakshmi.
The fourth day, which is on November 15 this year, varies in meaning across India, but commonly celebrate the victory of Lord Krishna over evil.
The fifth and final day on November 16 will celebrate sisters, and siblings will gather and share food to honour their bond.
Some regions may celebrate the start of the new year on this date in 2020.
The lunar orientation of the calendar means Diwali will land on different dates in 2021 and 2022.
They drift back roughly 10 days in the coming years to November 4 and October 24 respectively.
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