When is Diwali in 2017, 2018, and 2019?

India's Festival of Lights

A woman's hand lighting Diwali diyas
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When is Diwali in  2017, 2018, and 2019?

Diwali falls in either October or November each year, depending on the cycle of the moon. It's observed on the 15th day of Kartik, the holiest month in the Hindu lunar calendar.

  • In 2017, Diwali is on October 19. (See calendar). It is observed a day earlier in south India, on October 18.
  • In 2018, Diwali is on November 7.
  • In 2019, Diwali is on October 27.

Diwali Dates Detailed Information

The Diwali festival actually runs for five days, with the main celebrations happening on the third day in most places in India.

  • The first day (October 17, 2017) is known as Dhanteras. "Dhan" means wealth and "teras" refers to the 13th day of a lunar fortnight on the Hindu calendar. This day is dedicated to celebrating prosperity. Goddess Lakshmi is welcomed into the home and gold is purchased. Ayurvedic doctors also honor Dhanvantari, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who brought Ayurveda to mankind, on this day. There are a number of temples in Kerala and Tamil Nadu dedicated to Dhanvantari and Ayurveda.
  • The second day (October 18, 2017) is known as Naraka Chaturdasi or Chhoti Diwali (small Diwali). Goddess Kali and Lord Krishna are believed to have destroyed the demon Narakasura on this day. Kali is worshiped in West Bengal, while demon effigies are burned in Goa.
  • The third day (October 19, 2017) is the new moon day known as Amavasya. This darkest day of the month is the most significant day of the Diwali festival in north and west India. Lakshmi is worshiped on this day, with a special puja performed in the evening.
  • The fourth day (October 20, 2017) has various meanings across India. In north India, Govardhan Puja is celebrated as the day when Lord Krishna defeated Indra, the god of thunder and rain. In Gujarat, it's celebrated as the start of a new year. In Maharashtra, Bali Puja is performed to seek the blessings of demon king Bali. 
  • The fifth day (October 21, 2017) is known as Bhai Duj. It's dedicated to celebrating sisters, in a similar way that Raksha Bandhan is dedicated to brothers. Brothers and sisters get together and share food, to honor the bond between them. 

More Information About Diwali

Find out more about the meaning of the Diwali festival and how it's celebrated in this Essential Diwali Festival Guide, and see pictures in this Diwali Photo Gallery.

Wondering where's best to join in the Diwali celebrations? Take a look ​at these 6 Diwali Ideas and Destinations in India.