Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights

14 November, 2012 0 Comments

Diwali

During the Hindu month of Ashwin (it ends on the month of Bhaubeej) there are four days in which the light of the candles, and fireworks illuminate the nights of India. This ritual evokes the way in which the light of knowledge conquers the darkness of ignorance. If we speak of the Gregorian calendar, this festival is celebrated between mid-October and mid-November.

The word “Diwali” comes from the Sanskrit and means “row of lamps“. These are small lamp candles of mud, which are filled with oil and are known with the name of “diyas”. In the interior of each household candles are placed are arranged in rows parallel to the walls of the house. Also these rows are placed in courtyards, gardens and terraces.

Diwali is the best occasion to bring the whole family in India. During Diwali, Hindus eat together, gifts are exchanged, and also cakes and greeting cards. During these four days, they put new clothes on and also they redecorate their home. The doors of the houses are decorated with floral motifs or Rangolis, a beautiful and typical floral art of India, to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and health. On the ground at the entrance are imitated the footprints of the goddess with rice flour.

There are several legends about the origin of the Diwali. One version suggests that this celebration is dedicated to Kali, the black goddess. Another legend says that is celebrated in honour to the union of Lakshmi and Vishnu.

And another version says that the Diwali Festival is the commemoration of the return of Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana after fourteen years of exile and after his victory over Ravana, the demon king. When they returned to their land, the cities of the kingdoms of Ayodhya and Mithila were illuminated with diyas to show them the way and to receive them.

Lights, meditation, mysticism … All of these ingredients and others are mixed in one of the major festivals in the fall of the Hindu calendar. Diwali, also known as Devali, Deepavali or Deepawali is celebrated throughout the Asian subcontinent.

Photo Source: Swami Stream

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