Diwali is around the corner once again and so is the excitement. It is one of the most enthusiastically celebrated festivals in the Hindu culture. People let themselves loose in the festivity with full zeal in almost all the parts of the country in a unique manner. The Northern part of India celebrates Diwali as Lord Rama’s homecoming to Ayodhya after defeating the Rakshasa King of Lanka, Ravana. On the other hand, Western India celebrates this festival for over a fortnight and honors Goddess Lakshmi – harbinger of wealth.
Diwali is not only celebrated in India but also in other parts of the world with great pomp and show. They embrace this glorious celebration with the carnival mood that includes fairs, cultural shows, and performances based on the Hindu Ethics. It is marked as the official holiday in various counties like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Fiji, Guyana and recently Sindh province of Pakistan.
Diwali celebrations continue for five long days wherein the families and friends get together. It starts with ‘Dhanteras’ followed by ‘Naraka Chaturdari’ on the second day, ‘Deepavali ’ on the third day, ‘Diwali Padva’ which is dedicated to the husband-wife relationship on the fourth day and finally ends with ‘Bhai Dooj’ that dictates to the brother-sister bond on the fifth day. One can feel the miraculous ambiance and soul enriching experience on all the five days. Spiritually, it signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair.
It is believed that the people of Lord Rama’s Kingdom lit his path with oil lamps to guide him on his way and to honor him on his homecoming. And with this, the tradition begins of decorating homes, offices, institutions and all the other public area with candles, earthenware oil lamps and with different fancy lights.
As Diwali also marks the beginning of a New Year according to the ‘Hindu Calendar’ and most importantly, it is the time to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. It becomes all the more important to indulge oneself into sweets and other savories. The Indian Sweetmeats known as ‘methai’ is something that captures the Indian culinary psyche. Hence, the custom of exchanging sweets with friends and family make the festival more delectable!
May the light of candles and diyas enlighten your way with success and happiness in life. Happy Diwali!