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Festival of Light

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Festival of Light

Post by Kitkat on Mon 31 Oct 2016, 17:03

Had a right old grumble yesterday about the non-stop fireworks around my way, going on late into the night.
NOT that I don't like fireworks displays - I love them, but my grumble was that it was a full 6 days before Guyfawkes Night and it just seemed crazy that they couldn't wait - at least till the weekend nearest to the day.

Turned out that yesterday was in fact the first day of [5 days of] Diwali (Festival of Light) and fireworks are a major part of the celebrations.  Probably explains my other grumble - of all the ridiculously early 'Christmas' lights appearing in many of the shops and houses around the neighbourhood.

People celebrating Diwali festival night in Patiala, Punjab, India

Marked by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, the event's theme is triumph of light over darkness and good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.

As well as houses being decorated with candles and colourful lights, those who are marking the celebrations share gifts and recite prayers in the name of happy, healthy futures.

When is Diwali?

Sacred: Diwali is a five day Festival of Lights

The date of Diwali changes each year as the day it is celebrated is calculated according to the position of the moon and the Hindu lunar calendar.

This year, Diwali falls on Sunday October 30.

What is Diwali?

Releasing flying lanterns as part of the festivities in Punjab

Diwali is the five-day Festival of Lights and is traditionally celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and is one of the most significant festivals in the Indian culture.

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. This shows the victory of light over darkness and good over evil.

For many Indians, Diwali honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and people will start the new business year at Diwali and some will say prayers to the goddess for a prosperous year ahead.

How is Diwali celebrated?

Indian people stand next to lanterns displayed at a roadside on the eve of Diwali in Mumbai

Large firework displays are held which celebrate one of the Diwali legends, Rama and his wife Sita.

Fireworks are set off to signify Rama’s return to his kingdom after being exiled for 14 years and defeating king Ravana, when the local people set off their own version of fireworks.

Riches: For some Hindus the festival is dedicated to Lakshmi, goddess of wealth

Those celebrating Diwali also light traditional earthenware oil lamps called diyas which are said to help Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, find her way into people’s homes. They’ll leave their windows and doors of their houses open so that she can enter.

Gifts: Friends and family share sweets, fruit and presents

People will also create rangoli artwork which are patterns created using coloured rice or powder, with the most popular pattern being the lotus flower as Lakshmi was often pictured either sitting on one or holding a lotus.

During Diwali, families and friends share sweets, dried fruit and gifts, and many give food and goods to those who are less fortunate and in need. It is also a time when people spring-clean and redecorate their homes and wear new clothes.

Source: - The Mirror, 31 Oct 2016
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Re: Festival of Light

Post by Stardust on Mon 31 Oct 2016, 19:49

Thanks for that very interesting and well illustrated post, Kitkat, I love the photos. happyheart

Be grateful for even the smallest thing, blessings come in many disguises.

    Current date/time is Fri 18 Jan 2019, 21:38