DIWALI or Deepavali, also known as the Festival of Lights, will be celebrated on Wednesday, November 7th and is one of the largest, brightest and perhaps the most important festivals celebrated by Hindus all around the world. It is traditionally celebrated over five days. The main day of celebration is the third day which falls on the darkest moonless night of the month, Karthik (October/ November). The date of Diwali changes each year as the day it is celebrated is calculated according to the position of the moon and the Hindu lunar calendar. “The light has always been a symbol of whatever is positive in the world. To Hindus, darkness represents ignorance, and light is a metaphor for knowledge,” said Manoj Karsan, chairman of the Uitenhage Hindu Mandal.“Diwali carries great and varying religious and cultural significance among the several sects of Hinduism, with the universal message being that of good triumphing over evil.”Those celebrating Diwali light traditional earthenware oil lamps called diyas which are said to help Goddess Lakshmi find her way into people’s homes. People also make preparations to welcome Goddess Lakshmi by drawing beautiful rangolis, created by using coloured rice or powder, on the entrance of their houses. “The festival is widely identified by new beginnings, lights, bursting of fireworks, sweetmeats, feasts as well as time with family and friends. During Diwali, many give food and goods to those who are less fortunate and in need.“We wish all the Hindus a blessed Diwali. May the divine light of Diwali shine with peace, joy, prosperity, happiness and good health in your lives,” said Karsan.