The Beauty of Diwali: Lighting up the Night for Family and Friends
Are you joining in the celebration?
It’s that time of year again when the parties don’t stop until after New Year’s Day. Diwali will be here soon enough — the annual Hindu festival.
The holiday season is filled with joyous occasions, including fun festivities such as games, dances & delicious treats you can’t forget! Celebrations in the United States often start a few weeks before Diwali.
Diwali is also called Deepavali. It’s an annual Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year. It is a symbol of hope, prosperity, and togetherness. Hindus are one of the largest religious communities in the world, with around one billion followers globally.
The word “Diwali” comes from “Deepawali,” meaning “row of lamps.” The festival begins with an oil lamp or Diya being lit. On the eve of the new moon marking the end of this year’s harvest season. On Diwali night, these lamps are decorated with beautiful designs and lighting patterns for family members to enjoy. It is a happy night indeed.
Diwali is also known as the “festival of lights,.” It makes sense since candles and lamps play an important role throughout many parts of the festival. Including lighting up homes, temples, and even your neighbor’s house if they’re also celebrating!
The festivities begin with the Hindu New Year, which falls in mid-October. During this time, families clean, decorate and bless their home to welcome Lakshmi — the goddess of wealth & prosperity for a prosperous year ahead. Festivities are held throughout India and other parts of South Asia, where Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and others who join together to celebrate it.
Another beautiful tradition during Diwali includes wearing new clothes whenever you can! This is because it’s believed that when people wear fresh clothing, they bring good luck upon themselves throughout the coming year.
Diwali is usually observed over five days in most areas of India, Nepal & Sri Lanka. The first three are major celebrations while the last two are more subdued with family gatherings or visits to friends and relatives. Yet, across India, the days and reasons for celebration vary. Most if not all regions also perform a puja, or prayer service, to welcome the Lakshmi goddess into their home. She is the goddess of wealth and good fortune.
Diwali is a Hindu holiday that commemorates the victory of good over evil and marks the return of Lord Rama and his wife, Sita, and brother, Lakshmana, after a 14-year separation. It is also known as Vasant Panchami in some areas because it occurs on the fifth day (fifth month) on which spring flowers bloom.
Outside a North Indian family’s home, diyas or lights are used to welcome Lord Rama and his wife Sita into their house to protect them and, more, signify Lord Rama and his family’s return to their native country.
This tradition still exists in today’s Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, and adjacent areas.
The general idea of the celebrations in the south is consistent throughout. The mythical Indian epic known as the Mahabharata, which discusses the triumph of good and hope in the world, is followed all around South India.
In the south, it is accepted that Lord Krishna defeats Narakasura in battle. Many people throughout the south pay homage and praise him. Families will line the entrance of their homes with lights and colorful powder designs, also known as rangoli.
East & West India
According to Maps of India, a site about all things Indian, both of these regions of India usually commemorate the goddess Lakshmi, and “Diwali is recognized as the beginning of a new year for certain states.”
So, no matter how you choose to celebrate in November, know that you are joining a worldwide group of Indians who are choosing to embrace goodness, power, money, and prosperity over adversity and evil.