What is Diwali?
Diwali is known as the ‘festival of lights’ and is one of the major festivals celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs across the world. Taking place annually, the celebration lasts five days and marks the beginning of the Hindu new year.
It is widespread custom to light diyas (oil lamps) on the night of the new moon to celebrate the presence of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Being synonymous with prosperity and good fortune, gold has become an important part of the celebrations.
In this article, we discuss the meaning of the festivities and why gold has an even shinier lustre during these sacred times.
The meaning of Diwali
The etymology of the word Diwali is “row of lights” in the ancient language Sanskrit. As such, many lights and oil lamps are lit on the streets to mark the occasion, with the addition of fireworks, and family feasts, where mithai (sweets) and gifts are shared.
Diwali is a sacred time that acknowledges the victory of good triumphing over evil, and while it differs based on legends, Hindus celebrate the return of deities Rama and Sita, defeating the evil of Ravana.
The festival is widely associated with Lakshmi, goddess of prosperity and wealth, who is often depicted in Indian art as elegantly dressed and endowed with golden robes and often seen holding a lotus.
In recognition of this, the tradition of gift-giving is recognised by many who celebrate Diwali so as to bestow good fortune on loved ones. Owing to this, the exchanging of gold – and other precious metals – is extremely popular.
Gold Gifts at Diwali
During the first day of the celebration, known as ‘Dhanteras’, many dedicate themselves to cleaning their homes and purchasing small items of gold to bring good luck. Among those who celebrate the birth of the goddess Lakshmi, it is a day to exchange gold with friends, family and neighbours.
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The importance of gold at Diwali
According to mythology, King Hima’s son was destined to die after a lethal snake bite. It was his wife that changed his fate by distracting the serpent, leaving a pile of gold at the family’s door.
As the story goes, the deity of Death came disguised as a snake but was blinded by the dazzling jewellery and coins. As a result, he could not enter the prince’s chambers, forcing him to leave and spare the prince’s life.
This legend has inspired a tradition of buying gold on ‘Dhanteras’ to ensure good luck. While gold jewellery has traditionally been the favoured gift of Diwali, gold bullion is becoming a more popular modern alternative.
Why not send gold this year?
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Kinesis Gold makes the perfect gift, offering all the benefits of physical metal ownership with the added earning potential of a return in physical gold each month.
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