When the diyas are alighted, their glow illuminates even the darkest of nights, signifying the enlightenment of soul, the triumph of good over evil, overcoming the darkness of ignorance and propagating the light of knowledge.  

Diwali is a five-day Festival of Lights and is one of the most highly anticipated festivals in India. It is celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world and for some, it coincides with harvest and new year celebrations as it is a festival of new beginnings, harmony and happiness, triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. 

As per the Hindu calendar, this year Diwali falls on Monday, October 24, 2022. Thursday is the main day of festivities as the faithful pray to the Hindu goddess of wealth. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) called diyas that people light outside their homes, shops and public places to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness.

Diwali is a five-day celebration that includes good food, fireworks, colored sand and special candles and lamps. There are numerous legends associated with the festivities and rituals observed on this day. People clean their homes and decorate them with clay lamps and design patterns called rangoli using colored powders or sand. On the main day of festivities they gather together with their families for Lakshmi puja, a prayer to Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, followed by feasts and firework festivities. They also visit their friends and relatives with gifts and best wishes for the season. 

Diwali is celebrated with much pomp and show in various regions across India. Hindus interpret the Diwali story based upon where they live. For some it marks the beginning of New Year and they offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha which is also known as Lakshmi Ganesh Puja. In northern India, they celebrate the story of King Rama’s return to the city of Ayodhya after fourteen years after he defeated Ravana by lighting rows of clay lamps. Southern India celebrates it as the day that Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura. In western India the festival marks the day that Lord Vishnu, the Preserver, sent the demon King Bali to rule the  underworld. 

There is one common theme no matter where people celebrate: the victory of good over evil. Diwali is a beautiful celebration, which raises the spirits of people and acts as a reminder to spread love and share positivity with those around us. As many light lamps signify the need to embrace light, to remove the darkness of negativity, we must remind ourselves to remove the inner darkness of our soul and welcome the light of purity, good luck and goodness. 

Written by : Rtr. Kamalika Seneviratne

Thumbnail Designed by : Rtr. Hasmithan Kumararaja

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