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A festival of lights brings together all of India – Diwali or Deepavali is the much-awaited festival and arguably the biggest of all in India. Widely celebrated throughout India by the Hindu diaspora, people from all caste, creed, and religion join in the fun, light-up diyas (small oil lamps) and celebrate together over the five days of the festival.

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Read on as Wego provides you everything you need to know about Diwali 2023, the dates, timings, and how different parts of India will be celebrating Diwali this year.

Diwali 2023 dates

Here are the dates of Diwali 2023, along with the timings of different pujas that take place over the 5 days.

*Please note that the timings may be subject to change*

Dhanteras: 10 November 2023

Ashvija Krishna Thrayodasi (thirteenth day of the Hindu calendar in the month of Ashvija Krishna) marks the beginning of the festival of lights. Dhanteras welcomes the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, Devi Laxmi. It is customary to clean the house and perform puja for the Goddess.

Dhanteras is also considered to be a lucky day for buying gold and luxury goods while also offering charity to the underprivileged.

Dhanteras Puja Muhurat – 5:47 PM to 7:43 PM
Pradosh Kaal – 5:30 PM to 8:08 PM
Vrishabha Kaal – 5:47 PM to 7:43 PM

Narak Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali: 12 November 2023

Narak Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali also goes by the name Roop Chaturdashi and Roop Chaudas. On this day, Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura, and therefore, people make it a practice to let go of all things bad, evil, or old on this day. Choti Diwali is, in fact, also the main day of the Diwali celebration in most of South India.

Abhyanga Snan – 5:28 AM to 6:41 AM

Diwali: 12 November 2023

Lightwork on streets as a part of decoration during the festival of light

Lightwork on streets as a part of decoration during the festival of light – © Pixabay

The third day is the new moon day in the month of Karthik and the main day of celebration in most parts of India as they welcome Lord Rama’s victory and arrival in Ayodhya.

Lakshmi Puja Muhurat: 5:40 PM to 7:36 PM
Pradosh Kaal – 5:29 PM to 8:08 PM
Vrishabh Kaal – 5:40 PM to 7:36 PM

Balipadyami or Govardhan Puja: 14 November 2023

According to the Vikram Samvat calendar, the fourth day of the festival is also New Year’s day. Known for Pratipada, Govardhan Puja, or Annakut, the legend says that Lord Krishna, on this day, lifted the Govardhan Hill and provided shelter to local villagers during torrential rains.

Govardhan Puja Pratahkala Muhurat – 6:43 AM to 8:52 AM

Bhai Dooj: 14 November 2023

The last day of this five-day celebration ends with a beautiful family moment that honors the sweet bond shared by a brother and sister. Bhai Dooj or Bhratri Ditwiya, also known as Bhau Beej (in Marathi), and Bhai Phota (in Bengali), relates to Yama (the God of death) and his sister, Yamuna, who put tilak on Yama’s forehead and showered the Akshat on him.

Bhai Dooj Aparahna time – 1:10 PM to 3:19 PM
Dwitiya Tithi from 2:36 PM on 14 November 2023 to 1:47 PM on 15 November 2023

How is Diwali celebrated in India?


Lighting lamps or diyas is a central part of Diwali celebrations © Pickpik

Celebrated during the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika (between mid-October and mid-November), Diwali is the “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance,” even as different parts of India celebrate it in the belief of numerous legends. The most commonly accepted legend, particularly in North India, is the homecoming of Lord Rama, along with wife Sita, brother Lakshman, and Hanuman, to Ayodhya after he rose victorious over Ravana.

During the festival of lights, devotees worship Goddess Lakshmi, and since no celebration is deemed concluded without invoking Lord Ganesha, both of them are worshipped side by side. The puja is followed by the distribution of sweets and gifts among relatives, neighbors, and friends.

Houses are adorned with new goods, thus making shopping a must-do affair before Diwali. Online stores and shopping malls come up with Diwali offers, and these are deals not to be missed! Jewelry, crockery, home decor, and more get a makeover during this festive season as people also buy gifts for friends and families.

Streets glow up with spectacular lighting, all around, you’ll see decorations of garlands, rangolis, and candles. Sparklers and an assortment of crackers burst, adding to the illuminated environment during Amavasya (new moon). Such is the enthusiasm in the air!

Diwali festivities are exuberant in every part of the country. If you’re wondering where to travel this Diwali season, we suggest going through our dedicated guide before you finalize your plans for this vacation!

Diwali Travel 2023: A Guide for Planning an Unforgettable Diwali Vacation

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