Diwali is a festival celebrated in most parts of India. It’s significance is different in different parts the country and different religions in India.
For Hindus it marks the victory of good over evil, Jains celebrate Diwali in honor of Lord Mahavir (a Jain saint) attaining Nirvana. Buddhists also celebrate Diwali for similar reasons. The literal translation of Diwali/Deepavali means festival of lights. This festival brings together people from all different religions. Indians all over the world celebrate Diwali by lighting diyas (small clay/earthen lamps with ghee and a wick), putting up lights, lanterns and making Rangoli (design outside the house done with colors and/or flowers and/or colored grains) to welcome goodness and Lakshmi (the Goddess of wealth). The women in the houses are busy making sweets, snacks. Families indulge in feasts, Pooja (prayers to Gods/Godesses which include some form of ceremony). Diwali also involves a lot of shopping, particularly Gold. Diwali follows the Lunar calendar, so the date varies from year to year.
The last day of Diwali is the New Year of the Hindu Calendar. Families exchange sweets, visit other family houses, friends, etc..
Doesn’t matter if you’re Indian or not, please join me in welcoming a great year ahead. Let’s pledge to do good, be kind and spread love and laughter.
In the spirit of Diwali, here’s wishing everyone a great year ahead filled with happiness, warmth and love.
Here’s a picture the Diyas I lit to celebrate Diwali.