What is Diwali?

Nov. 10, 2020 EST

What is Diwali?

Diya: Oil lamp

Diwali, known as the festival of lights, is a five-day festival widely celebrated by Indians worldwide. One of the most popular and important festivals on the Hindu Calendar, Diwali is marked by the lighting of diyas (oil lamps) which symbolize the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance (1).

The name Diwali comes from the Sanskrit Dipawali, which means “row of lights”. The pinnacle of the Diwali festival is celebrated on the darkest day of the lunar month which makes diyas and fireworks sparkle against the night sky. This year, that falls on Saturday, November 14th. A good way to greet Indians and people with Indian heritage on this occasion is to wish them “Happy Diwali”.  Many Hindus pray to Laxmi, the Goddess of Prosperity, on the eve of the festival. Homes are cleaned to welcome Laxmi and people end the prayers with eating sweets called mithai and lighting firecrackers.

Mithai: Sweets

The Diwali celebrations begin with Dhanteras, which symbolizes renewal, cleansing, and an auspicious beginning for the upcoming new year. Families light diyas and decorate their homes with Rangoli- an art form in which patterns are created on the floor using materials such as colored rice, colored sand, quartz powder, or flower petals.

Rangoli: Floor Art

There are clear parallels between Diwali and other ancient, iconic festivals from around the world, most notably Hannukah and Christmas which are popularly celebrated in the U.S. Each one is marked by lighting up houses, chanting songs of victory and peace, distributing sweets and gifts, and wishing each other well-being and prosperity.

The economic significance of Diwali for India

Diwali is a major event for India’s economy. The festive season traditionally accounts for 35-40% of annual sales of consumer durables such as cars, electronics, and mobile phones (2),(3). E-commerce players have specifically been beneficiaries of Diwali spending, with 2019 spending estimated at US$32bn, 60% higher than 2019.

According to the Confederation of Indian Industry, “Even the stock market does well as people consider it auspicious to buy shares during Diwali.” (4)

Again, this is akin to shopping seasons in other countries which are usually centered around major festivals or public holidays. The Lunar New Year in China is a good example.

Why NextFins launched INDF

Diwali is a time when Indians wish each other prosperity. NextFins believes that Indian Financials are a powerful asset class with scope for long term shareholder value compounding.

INDF is the first pure-play India Financials ETF listed in the US. It gives investors the ability to purchase a basket of the top Indian financial services companies in a single trade.

We are proud to create and offer an ETF that allows both non-Indians as well as members of the Indian diaspora the ability to participate. Investors may purchase shares of INDF through their financial advisors or online brokers.

 

  1. Karen Bellenir (1997), Religious Holidays and Calendars: An Encyclopedic Handbook, 2nd Edition, ISBN 978-0-7808-0258-2, Omnigraphics
  2. India Journal: ‘Tis the Season to be Shopping Devita Saraf, The Wall Street Journal (August 2010)

  3. Economic Times, September 17, 2019. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/et-explains/why-this-diwali-is-the-most-crucial-in-10-years/articleshow/71159766.cms
  4. https://www.ciiblog.in/economy/diwali-lighting-up-the-indian-economy/

RISK INFORMATION                                                                                                                                            

Carefully consider the Funds' investment objectives, risk factors, charges and expenses before investing. This and additional information can be found in the Fund’s prospectus, which may be obtained by visiting https://indiafinancials.com/investor-materials. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. International investments may also involve risk from unfavorable fluctuations in currency values, differences in generally accepted accounting principles, and from economic or political instability. Emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors as well as increased volatility and lower trading volume. The Fund’s investments in securities of issuers located or operating in India, as well as its ability to track the Index, also may be limited or prevented, at times, due to the limits on foreign ownership imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”). Narrowly focused investments and investments in smaller companies typically exhibit higher volatility. Financial services companies are subject to extensive governmental regulation, which may limit both the amounts and types of loans and other financial commitments they can make, the interest rates and fees they can charge, the scope of their activities, the prices they can charge and the amount of capital they must maintain. There is no guarantee the fund will achieve its stated objective.

Shares are bought and sold at market price (not NAV) and are not individually redeemed from the Fund. Brokerage commissions will reduce returns.

Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC serves as the investment advisor of the fund. The Fund is distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co. (SIDCO), which is not affiliated with Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, NextFins, or any of their affiliates.

Carefully consider the Funds' investment objectives, risk factors, charges and expenses before investing. This and additional information can be found in the Fund’s prospectus, which may be obtained by visiting https://indiafinancials.com/investor-materials. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. International investments may also involve risk from unfavorable fluctuations in currency values, differences in generally accepted accounting principles, and from economic or political instability. Emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors as well as increased volatility and lower trading volume. The Fund’s investments in securities of issuers located or operating in India, as well as its ability to track the Index, also may be limited or prevented, at times, due to the limits on foreign ownership imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”). Narrowly focused investments and investments in smaller companies typically exhibit higher volatility. Financial services companies are subject to extensive governmental regulation, which may limit both the amounts and types of loans and other financial commitments they can make, the interest rates and fees they can charge, the scope of their activities, the prices they can charge and the amount of capital they must maintain. There is no guarantee the fund will achieve its stated objective.

A new or smaller fund is subject to the risk that its performance may not represent how the fund is expected to or may perform in the long term. In addition, new funds have limited operating histories for investors to evaluate and new and smaller funds may not attract sufficient assets to achieve investment and trading efficiencies.


Shares are bought and sold at market price (not NAV) and are not individually redeemed from the Fund. Brokerage commissions will reduce returns. The market price returns are based on the official closing price of an ETF share or, if the official closing price isn't available, the midpoint between the national best bid and national best offer (“NBBO”) as of the time the ETF calculates current NAV per share, and do not represent the returns you would receive if you traded shares at other times. NAVs are calculated using prices as of 4:00PM Eastern Time.