The Indian festival of light
By: Sadhika Narayanan S2FR
India is a large country, which is known for its rich culture and variety of religions. The most popular religion in India is Hinduism. Hinduism is known for its unique colorful festivals, the most important one being Diwali!
Why do is Diwali celebrated?
There are many myths that explain why Diwali is celebrated. However, many people believe that a God, named Rama, killed a demon-king called Ravana because he abducted Rama’s wife. After a battle, Rama returned to his kingdom with his wife and his brother after 14 years of exile. To celebrate their king Rama’s return, the people of the city lit up candles and placed them in a row creating a path and that is how Diwali got its name: deepa (meaning lamps) and avali (meaning in a row). Then the inhabitants burst crackers and decorated the entire city in the greatest manner. This marks the beginning of a new year in Hinduism. Such as this, there are many other mythological stories that explain the celebration of Diwali. Therefore, this festival is dedicated to many Gods and Goddesses.
In some regions, Diwali is celebrated for five days:
Day 1: “Dhanteras” where people buy new jewelry, clothes and valuable objects such as gold, silver and diamonds. They areoffered to god at the main event
Day 2: “Choti Diwali” means “small Diwali” where people pray and burst some small crackers..
Day 3: “Diwali” main event of the festival and the Hindu New Year’s Eve. People usually burst fireworks and have a big party. The sky is covered in fireworks.
Day 4: “Govardhan pooja” where people pray and worship a God named Krishna. There is another legend which explains why there is a day like this. It is also Hindu New Year’s Day.
Day 5: “Bhai Dooj” this is the last day of the Diwali festival where sisters pray for a long life and prosperity for their brothers. This defines eternal love between siblings, dedicated to strengthen the bond between them.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Last year’s – 2021 – Diwali was on the 4th of November. This is when we buy new clothes, make festive food, light lamps, burst fireworks, buy new jewelry and of course, exchange gifts. I mean… what’s a festival without presents? Am I right?
A few facts….
- This festival occurs on a “no-moon night” so every year Diwali is not on the same day. It is also the day a Goddess named Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth and prosperity) was born.
- Diwali has been celebrated for more than 2500 years! It symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and good over bad
- More than 800 million people celebrate Diwali every year in various ways! Diwali is also considered a major shopping festival in the places where it’s celebrated. There are special offers and discounts that businesses provide for their customers before the festival. Buying new clothes is considered to be good.
In conclusion, Diwali is the beginning every year for all Hindus on Earth!