(As I write this post, all I can hear is fireworks going off in the neighbourhood)
Celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs, Diwali (or Deepavali) is one of the biggest and brightest festivals in South Asia.
Diwali is a celebration of the victory of good over evil and light over darkness.
Typically, Diya’s (oil lamp, usually made from clay, with a cotton wick dipped in ghee or vegetable oils.) are put inside and outside of homes and businesses for prosperity.
This festival of lights literally illuminates towns and cities with its brilliance and spreads a sense of joy between people.
Because there is a sense of freedom, festivity and friendliness in the air, Diwali is an occasion to forgive and to forget the mistakes of others and at the same time gives us all an opportunity to unite with our loved ones (Public holiday what’s good).
The Origin of Diwali
The origin of this festival can be traced back to ancient India (wayyyyyy back) with many different versions that point towards the beginning of Diwali. For instance, it ;
- Is the celebration of the marriage of Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu
- Is dedicated to the worship of Mother Kali (the dark goddess of strength) in Bengal
- Celebrates Lord Ganesha (the elephant-headed god)
- Is a Symbol of auspiciousness and wisdom.
- Adds significance to the event of Lord Mahavira (attaining eternal bliss of nirvana) in Jainism
- Commemorates the return of Lord Ram (Along with Sita and Lakshman) from his 14 yearlong exile (and vanquishing the demon-king Ravan)
What we do during Diwali
So basically, homes are lit up with running lights and Diya’s and the skies are brightened up with fireworks which is an expression of respect to the universe for the attainment of ;
According to some people. Fireworks are a sign of ‘happiness’ of the people living on earth, making the gods aware of their abundant state.
Legend has it, that on the morning of Diwali, we are expected to be out of bed super early (when I say super early I mean 4 am early which is too early). It is supposed to bring upon us abundant blessings in terms of health, ethical discipline, productivity and spiritual development (this explains a lot. Long sigh).
Moving on, during Diwali, we’re meant to buy new outfits and wear them at night (Not entirely sure on how legit this one is but it usually works out well for my mum). It really is exciting to see everyone dressed up in their colourful and extravagant Indian outfits (with some people looking like disco balls – this is me thinking out loud once again)
In Fiji, on the night of Diwali, people head out to see the pretty lights and visit their friends to share sweets that are usually made at home (orrrr you can just order them from Bhika Bhai). This is also a time where kids from the neighbourhood flock to houses that are lit up because that’s where you’ll find lots of sweets 🙂
Click on this link for a short video → Story of Diwali
This year Diwali falls on Wednesday, November 11, 2015.
The significance of Diwali is the removal of darkness and ignorance from the mind and filing it with goodness.
Don’t forget where there are lights, there are sweets.
Stay safe x
The photos are not so good in this post as they're all my own.