Sunday, November 3, 2013

Happy Diwali!

Diwali, the festival of lights is celebrated all over India. I love this time of the year because not only does the weather start getting cooler, there is positive energy everywhere. 

Interestingly, even though this festival is celebrated all over India, there is a subtle difference in how and why Diwali is celebrated in different parts of India.

In north India, it is believed that on this day, Rama's returned to Ayodhya after 14 years in exile and diyas were lit in order to welcome Rama. For Jains, diwali is a celebration in honour of Mahavira who attained nirvana on this day. On this auspicious day Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped. Since diwali marks the end of harvert season, people seek the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi for a prosperous year ahead.

In Bengal, Diwali is better known as Kali puja. Goddess Kali is worshiped on this new moon day.  In Bengal, on the day before Diwali there is a tradition of lighting up 14 candles. This is in honor of their ancestors and to dispel negative energies.

In Northern Bihar’s Mithila region, diwali is celebrated by lighting up diyas in the memory of the departed souls.

And if we move out of India towards the West, I find quite a bit of similarity between Halloween and Diwali. Not only do these two festivals get celebrated around the same time but the reason behind the events is also somewhat similar. Halloween is dedicated to remembering the departed souls, saints, believers... similarly in many parts of India, diwali signifies exactly this. 


To me, Diwali is about removing ignorance (darkness) by bringing in knowledge (light).

I wish all of you a prosperous, happy, healthy, successful, and peaceful year ahead.


Veena said...

Thanks and wish you Happy Deepawali

Visala said...

Very Nice post Ranjana. Happy Diwali to you

Ranjana Jha said...

Thank you @Veena, @Visala