Diwali, often called the “Festival of Lights,” is one of the largest festivals in India, akin to Christmas in the West. It is a major religious holiday for Hindus across the globe, as well as a significant holiday for Jains, Sikhs, and certain sects of Buddhism. Across five days in October or November (the exact date is determined by the Hindu lunar calendar), people celebrate by performing sacred rites to an array of deities, lighting candles and lanterns, and exchanging gifts.
Origins of Diwali
Diwali, also commonly referred to as “Deepavali,” is an ancient Indian holiday whose origins stretch back over 2,500 years. Like many traditions originating on the subcontinent, Diwali’s origin story is not a single tale, but rather a collection of many myths and legends braided together over the centuries. “Deepavali” is Sanskrit for “series of lighted lamps,” hence the nickname “Festival of Lights.” For Hindus, the lighted lamps refer to the lamps that lit the way home for Rama (an incarnation of the god Vishnu) and his wife Sita after 14 years in exile.
Others celebrate the festival as a commemoration of the birth of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. In Gujarat, Diwali coincides with the New Year, so many celebrants ask Lakshmi for prosperity in the coming year. While Diwali is a religious holiday, it is one with varying religious significance across India and Indian communities overseas.
Diwali and Gold
One tradition that is recognized among almost everyone who celebrates Diwali is the exchanging of gifts and the purchasing of goods for the home. Purchasing and/or exchanging gifts of gold (and sometimes silver) is especially popular, as it is believed that the precious metal will help attract wealth and prosperity. Among those who celebrate the birth of Lakshmi, the first day of Diwali, called “Dhanteras,” is a day of purchasing and exchanging gold with friends, family, and neighbors. Jewelers and gold coin dealers in India frequently see a spike of 20%-30% in sales leading up to the festival.
If you are participating in Diwali celebrations with friends and family, a visit to gold coin buyers and sellers can help your family prepare for Dhanteras. If you are looking to purchase gold coins in Georgia, Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers has a huge inventory of gold coins, gold bullion, and even rare collectible coins that would make an ideal gift or auspicious purchase for yourself. And for those looking to sell extra gold, we offer a free, no-obligation appraisal. Contact us today to learn more.