DIWALI – FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS


This month, millions of people around the world will celebrate light over darkness. Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is the biggest festival celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists around the world.

The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word deepavali, meaning "rows of lighted lamps".

Houses, shops and public places are decorated with small oil lamps called diyas at this time of year and people visit their relatives to share Indian sweets and gifts and to engage in huge celebration feasts. There is also a strong belief in giving to those in need and it is also traditional for homes to be cleaned and new clothes to be worn.

During the festivities, the sky is also a mass of breath taking beauty as golden lamps and fireworks light up the sky in their thousands.

For many Indians celebrating Diwali, this five day festival honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. It is customary for people to start the new business year at this time and some Hindus will say prayers to the goddess for a successful year. Lamps are also lit to help Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth find her way into people's homes.

It is also believed that the oil lamps light their path in the darkness.

story related to this festival is ‘Ramayana’ where Hindus celebrate the return of deities Rama and Sita after their 14-year exile.

Lord Rama rescues his wife Sita from the Demon King Ravana with his brother Lakshmana. He is also helped by an extraordinary monkey possessing special powers called Hanumana.

On Lord Rama's return after the fourteen year exile Diwali was celebrated for the first time and still continues in the most magnificent way to this day.