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5 Fun Facts About Deepavali

Deepavali falls on different days every year and typically between October and November. Its exact date is determined by the Indian lunar calendar. This year, it falls on 24 October.

One of Singapore’s major ethnic holidays, Deepavali is also widely considered to be India’s most important annual holiday.

How much do you know about this festival which is celebrated by over 1 billion people around the world? Test your knowledge with this fun quiz:

To all residents celebrating the occasion, Happy Deepavali!



1            The Hindus, ____ and Sikhs mark the religious festival of Deepavali.

3            Not all _____ celebrate Deepavali.


2            Another name for Deepavali is _______.

4            Deepavali was declared a public holiday by the colonial government in the month of October and year, Nineteen-Twenty ____.

5            Many believe that the lights during Deepavali guide the goddess ______ into their households.

Did you know all the answers? Read more about the Festival of Lights and find out if you answered correctly.


#1 Did you also know that Deepavali has been celebrated for over 2,500 years?

In Singapore, even though this festival has been marked by Indian immigrants since the early 1800s, it was declared an official holiday only in October 1929 by the colonial government.

#2 Deepavali is not the Indian New Year, which is usually observed in March or April. Instead, Deepavali is a religious festival that marks the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge above ignorance. Therefore, the festivities usually feature oil lamps, colourful light displays and sparklers.

#3 This festival is commemorated not only by the Hindus but also by the Jains and Sikhs too. While the different religions all share the tradition of lamp-lighting for this festival, they each have their own unique beliefs and practices.

For the Hindus, it marks the slaying of the tyrannical demon, Narakasura, by Lord Krishna. It also commemorates the return of Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana after their 14-year exile and defeat of the demon king, Ravana, according to the Ramayana epic.

The Sikhs refer to the festival as ‘Bandi Chhor Divas’, and celebrate the release of their sixth guru, Guru Hargobind’s release from a Mughal prison.

The Jains, on the other hand, mark the liberation of Lord Mahavir from the endless cycle of reincarnation and his attainment of nirvana. They refer to the festival as ‘Mahavira Nirvana Divas’.

#4 During Deepavali, the lighting of oil lamps at dusk symbolises the sun chasing the darkness away. This practice is especially apt for a festival which falls on a new moon every year, which makes for the darkest night.

Many Indians also believe that these lights guide the goddess Lakshmi into their households, bringing with her good fortune.

In India, firework displays and firecrackers are very popular during Deepavali celebrations.

#5 Deepavali or Diwali – confused over the names used for the Festival of Lights and how to greet your Indian friends?

Both names are variations of a Sanskrit term meaning “row of lights”.

The name Deepavali is used by Tamil-speaking southern Indians, whereas Hindi-speaking northern Indians call it Diwali. So, you can wish them Happy Deepavali or Happy Diwali, depending on whom you are speaking to.

How did you score on the fun facts? Here are the answers to the quiz:

To all residents celebrating the occasion, Happy Deepavali!