religion_tamoule160_dipavali_2015_saint_andre_-_credit_irt_-_lionel_ghighi_dts_09_2019_0.jpgDipavali 2014Dipavali 2014© Lionel.GHIGHI
© Lionel.GHIGHI

Dipavali

OR FESTIVAL OF LIGHT

Dipavali is the Tamil festival of light. It is to be held from 13th to 15th November 2020. According to Hindu mythology, the gods begged Krishna to rid the world of Naraka, the demon who tormented heaven and earth. One night, Krishna beheaded the tyrant with his divine disk, or chakra. Symbolically, night represents man’s ignorance of his own divine essence, and the chakra is the knowledge that puts an end to such ignorance.

In Reunion, Dipavali is one of the most important Tamil festivals and an opportunity to celebrate Latchimi, the goddess of Light and Prosperity. Followers in traditional dress join a night-time procession with candles and light small terracotta lanterns in their homes. During the day, friends and neighbours pay each other visits and exchange pastries. The public can only visit temples from the outside.
Several of the island’s towns celebrate Dipavali: Saint-André in the East, Saint-Paul and Le Port in the West, and Saint-Leu and Saint-Pierre in the South.

Dipavali in 2020

  • In Saint-André

The town of Saint-André is celebrating its 31st Dipavali from 13th to 15th November 2020. This flagship event for Reunion’s Tamil community is to be held over three days in Saint-André. It is a key event in Reunion’s Tamil culture and attracts 20,000 visitors every year from across the island.
The Indian mela (traditional village with a market and podium) and its exhibitors propose “India of yesterday and today”, a whole array of Indian fragrances, colours and culture, through various business sectors (arts & crafts, furnishings, jewellery, clothing, etc.) and a host of activities: Indian gastronomy, exhibitions, shows, cookery workshops, calligraphy, henna tattooing, saree draping, conferences, tours proposed by the Intercommunal Tourist Office for the East, concerts, and so on.
The grand parade of flower-festooned floats (created by Indian craftspeople and generally representing scenes inspired by India’s Ramayana mythology) also brings together nearly 2,000 participating artists in the streets of the town centre (Avenue de Bourbon and Avenue de la République).

Dates of festivals of light to come (provisional):

IN MOST CASES, THE DIPAVALI CELEBRATIONS WILL BE HELD BETWEEN MID-OCTOBER AND MID-NOVEMBER.
  • Dipavali 2020: Friday 13th November
  • Dipavali 2021: Thursday 4th November
  • Dipavali 2022: Monday 24th October
  • Dipavali 2023: Sunday 12th October
  • Dipavali 2024: Friday 1st November
  • Dipavali 2025: Tuesday 21st October
  • Dipavali 2026: Sunday 8th November