Celebrating Light Over Darkness

It is the festival of light! 

On the darkest night of the Hindu lunisolar month known as Kartika, which usually falls in October or November, Hindus and Jains celebrate Diwali.  Also known as Deepawali, it is a five-day festival, which celebrates the spiritual victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and good over evil.  It is the third day of the festival that coincides with the darkest night, and all temples, shops, homes and streets are lit up.  It is a wonderful sight to see hundreds of little clay lamps known as “Diyas” dotting the landscape and lighting up every nook and cranny.

It is said that this festival is even mentioned in ancient Sanskrit texts.

The festival includes the worship of the goddess Lakshmi and the God Genesha for prosperity and happiness.

Homes, street corners and shops are also decorated with colourful designs known as Rangoli.  Made with coloured rice, sand, flour and flower petals, the patterns reflect various traditions, forklore and practices unique to the area. Rangoli is believed to bring good luck and the designs and the art of creating them is passed on from generation to generation. Auspicious symbols such as birds, lotus flower, Mango etc.  make up the central part of the design.

Diwali celebrations also include the exchange of gifts, donning new clothes and of course families coming together to enjoy each other’s company and a celebratory meal. 

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