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Facts about Diwali 'the festival of light'

Today is Diwali, also known as the festival of light is a religious festival at the end of October or beginning of November.

It is celebrated by Sikhs, Hindus and Jains, and is as big to those religions as Christmas is to Christians.

Facts about Diwali:

  • Diwali translated means 'row of lights'.
  • Diwali celebrates good triumphing over evil.
  • For many it is the mark of a new year.
  • Many Hindus take the opportunity of Diwali to honour the goddess of wealth Lakshmi.
  • People mark the religious festival by lighting clay lamps, it is believed the more lamps people light the more likely the goddess of fortune and prosperity, Lakshmi will visit.
  • Leicester hosts the biggest Diwali celebrations outside of India.
  • Many people draw colourful rangoli, a decorative pattern made in rice flour, at the entrance of the home.
  • Celebrations include sharing food, watching fireworks, worshiping and rangoli also known as Kolam which is a folk art from India.

Surprising facts about Halloween

  • Many people suffer from Samhainophobia which is an irrational fear of Halloween.
  • Trick or treating came from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to pacify spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain, a festival to mark the end of the Celtic calendar year.
  • In China lanterns shaped like dragons and animals are hung around houses and streets to help guide spirits back home.
  • People used to carve their Halloween lanterns out of turnips in Ireland to keep evil spirits away.
  • The tradition of wearing masks on Halloween is stop the spirits recognising the living.
  • Collecting sweets door to door actually started in England before it reached the USA
  • If you see a spider on Halloween it is said to be the spirit of a loved one watching you.