Diwali: The Festival of lights

DIWALI is the largest community festival and celebration of culture & heritage. Also known as the festival of lights, Diwali is a major Hindu festival celebrated worldwide by Sikhs, Punjabis, Gujaratis, Jains, Buddhists, Tamils, Nepalis, 

Sri Lankans and East Indians. Diwali is celebrated to mark the homecoming of Lord Rama after his jubilant victory over demons. The tradition of lighting earthen lamps followed on this day serves as a promise to turn darkness into light and spread peace and prosperity.

India is a huge country with many customs, traditions, and festivals, which differ from one part of the country to another. But this is one festival that truly unites the country. It is celebrated throughout India, including Goa. Outside of India too, Hindus celebrate Diwali.

There are many customs and traditions of the festival. Homes are cleaned and decorated with lamps and rangolis, offices and shops are also repaired and cleaned, families give away gifts, offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi for good luck and prosperity, the streets are decorated with lights, and people burn firecrackers loudly. Homes and businesses will buy new things during the festival, as this is deemed auspicious.

Diwali is about celebrations, the coming together of family and friends, eating delicious food with your loved ones and also the victory of good over evil. In many places, especially in North India, and in some areas of the west, east, and the south, it is the main festival.

Now let’s take a look at some of Indian Delicious dishes to Eat on Diwali.

Diwali marks the victory of good over evil or the victory of brightness over darkness. It marks the return of Lord Rama to his home in Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana after defeating the demon king Ravana (the story of the Hindu epic Ramayana). It is believed that the residents of Ayodhya lit oil lamps along the way to light up the path of Lord Rama as he returned home victorious. It is also celebrated to mark the defeat of the evil king Narkasur.

This timeline shows the evolution of Diwali in Canada from 2015 to 2019!

Diwali Symbols

Every Diwali, in Goa, and elsewhere in India, you will always see people decorating their homes with lamps or diyas, rangoli designs, swastika symbols, and there are bonfires and fireworks too. These are the common symbols of the festival, but there is a deeper meaning and significance behind each of them.

  •  The Swatika symbol and Shubh Labh – The Swastika is for Lord Ganesha. According to Hindu customs, every new work, including a festival, can start only after paying a tribute to the Lord. You will find this symbol at the entrance of homes, business offices, and even banks. In one avatar, the Lord married Riddhi and Siddhi. The two lines at the side of the Swastika are for the two consorts of Ganesha. Shubh stands for “good”, while Labh means “profit”. They are the two sons of Ganesha.
  •  Diya or Lamps – Almost every home is decorated with diyas, which are earthen lamps. They are put up in every corner, even just outside the entrance. The light is a symbol of goodness to fight off evil. The diya’s oil represents dirt (hatred, jealousy, greed, lust etc.), which we all have, and which makes us impure. We fight off evil by burning off the oil and emitting the light. This helps us become enlightened and pure.
  •  The diya also signifies knowledge. The lamps can remove the darkness and bring in new thoughts, new ideas, and greater knowledge.
  •  Fireworks and Bonfires – According to Hindu mythology, the evil king Narkasur could only be killed by his mother Bhumi Devi, but she was already dead. So in a way, Narkasur was immortal. God Indra requested Krishna to do something about this. Krishna, in turn, asked Satyabhama, his wife, who was a reincarnation of Bhumi Devi to help him. In the fight that followed, Krishna was heavily injured by Narkasur. Satyabhama was furious after seeing this and killed Narkasur with a weapon.
  •  But before his death, Narkasur asked for a boon from his mother. Krishna then said that everyone will celebrate his death by bursting firecrackers, bonfires, distributing sweets, and lighting their homes.
  •  Goddess Lakshmi – One of the most important Hindu Gods, Lakshmi symbolizes happiness, wealth, and prosperity. She is also a symbol of progress. However, it is not just for material gains. Goddess Lakshmi also stands for the spiritual growth of the body and the mind.

Now let’s take a look at some of the best cities to celebrate Diwali recording to Huffington Post.

Now to wrap this up let’s see how celebrities celebrated Diwali 2019 and a Spotify playlist to get all of us in the Diwali mood!

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Written by
Romina Amou Zadeh

An aspiring entertainment journalist, animal lover and a music geek with a penchant for pop culture, fashion, travel, fitness and bubble tea.
She holds an Honours Bachelor's degree in English from the Azad University of Tehran-North and is currently studying Journalism New Media at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario.

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