Major Light Festivals Around The World
Diwali is not the only festival which is celebrated with lights. Similar celebrations take place in most parts of the world.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year, which usually falls between the last week of January and the first fortnight of February, is celebrated much like Diwali. The 15-day festival is celebrated with lights, lanterns and fireworks. It is estimated that during the festive period of 2006, firecrackers worth $124 million were set off in china. The Thai celebration of Loy Krathong, which is usually celebrated in November, is also a similar festival.
The Jewish festival Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days with homes being kindled by lights on each night. Similarly Saint Lucia’s Day, which marks the beginning of the Christmas season, is celebrated in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland on December 13. On Saint Lucia’s Day eve, the family’s eldest girl walks with a crown of candles, heading a procession of other women holding a candle each.
Christmas is also associated with light. In France, the Christmas season is demonstrated by the advent of candles, which are lit for four consecutive Sundays before Christmas.
In Mexico, Christmas festivities begin with Las Posadas on December 16 followed by nine days of candlelight processions.
Fireworks are not usually associated with religious celebrations in many parts of the world. Diwali is an exception to this rule. However, there are non-religious occasions which involve the use of fireworks like the US Independence Day, Canada day and Guy Fawkes Night.