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What is Diwali?

What is Diwali?

Backstory:

Diwali is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. It is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. Each religion has a different backstory on the holiday itself. The holiday itself is a very joyful occasion.

Backstory:

Diwali is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. It is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. Each religion has a different backstory on the holiday itself. The holiday itself is a very joyful occasion.

Backstory:

Diwali is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. It is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. Each religion has a different backstory on the holiday itself. The holiday itself is a very joyful occasion.

Backstory:

Diwali is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. It is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. Each religion has a different backstory on the holiday itself. The holiday itself is a very joyful occasion.

 

Name of Holiday: Diwali (or Deepavali)

Pronounced: Di-VAH-li

Meaning: Festival of Lights.

Represents:  The triumph of good over evil

When: In the Common Era calendar, Diwali typically falls towards the end of October, or first half of November each year.  This year, Diwali will be celebrated on Sunday, October 30, 2016. Diwali also the marks the beginning of the Hindu calendar, which will be on Monday, October 31, 2016 this year.

 

Backstory:

Diwali is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. It is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs.  Each religion has a different backstory on the holiday itself. The holiday itself is a very joyful occasion. 

In Hinduism, Diwali is celebrated to honour the return of Lord Rama, his wife Sita, and his brother Lakshman after 14 years of exile. While in exile, Sita was kidnapped by the ten-headed Ravan, who took her away to a remote island. After defeating Ravan and winning back Sita, they set out to return to their kingdom. To honour their return and to illuminate their path, the villagers lit diyas (lights) and that’s how Diwali came to be the festival of lights.

In Jainism, Diwali marks the anniversary of Lord Mahavir’s attainment of moksha or final release. Diwali is considered a celebration of his contributions and his teachings.

In Sikhism, the festival is referred to as Bandi Chhor Divas. This festival celebrates the return of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind, and 52 other princes with him.

Regardless of the backstory or the religion, Diwali is celebrated by everyone together to mark the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair.

 

What do people do during Diwali?

The word Diwali means rows of lighted lamps and it is known as the Festival of Lights because houses and shops are decorated with candles and colourful lights.  Diwali is one of the happiest holidays for them. People often decorate their homes for the festivities.  People buy new clothes & gifts for themselves and their families. (Think Christmas!)  

On Diwali night, those celebrating dress up in new clothes or their best outfit, light up Diyas (lamps and candles decorated very beautifully) inside and outside their home and participate in family prayers typically to Lakshmi (The goddess of fertility and prosperity)

There isn’t a set menu for Diwali however dinner tends to be elaborate and vegetarian. Curries, Samosas, Paneer (Type of Cheese - very delicious) along with sweets and other yummies are on the menu.

 

What to say to someone celebrating Diwali?

A simple “Happy Diwali” goes a long way! If you have a friend or coworker celebrating Diwali, be sure to wish them this weekend.

 

  • October 25, 2016
  • Talib Contractor
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