DIWALI: A festival of Lights

Festival Date: November 5 2010

             Diwali, a festival of lights, is a Hindu festival which originated in India, but is now celebrated all over the world. It celebrates the triumph of good over evil and of light over darkness. Many customs and ceremonies are associayed with this joyful time when thiusands of little clay lamps, called dipas, burn brightly from every house where the festival is observed.
             People want to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, to their homes at Diwali, but it is believed that she will not visit any home which is not clean. Prior to Diwali people clean their houses and decorate the floors, especially the floors of doorways and courtyards, with special designs called rangoli. Rangoli patterns are often made with colored rice flour, rice or spices. Lights are placed in the doorway to welcome Lakshmi to a house.
             Families get together for Diwali the way families gether to celebrate Thanksgiving. People exchange gifts of sweets and send Diwali cards to their friends. They also greet each other with their words "Subh Diwali," which means Happy Diwali. They wear new clothes, and those who have quarrellled try to patch up their differences at this time so that they may celebrate Diwali in friendship.
A time of New Beginnings
             People visit temples and shrines to pray. In India people visit the temple at any time of the day to pray, but in other countries there are certain times when people meet to pray together. In India, shrines are often at the roadside, but many Hindu people have special prayer rooms in their homes where they pray. In India, Diwali comes after the heavy monsoon rains have ended so it is the beginning of a new year for farmers. When Diwali celebrations are over, farmers will plant their crops.

Copyright © www.nayasal.com