Happy Diwali!

Deepavali or Diwali, popularly known as the “festival of lights,” is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-November for different reasons. For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BC.

Deepavali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji.

 The name “Diwali” is a contraction of “Deepavali” (Sanskrit: दीपावली Dīpāvalī), which translates into “row of lamps”.[5] Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (diyas or dīpas) in Sanskrit: दीप) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends.

 The festival starts with Dhanteras on which most Indian business communities begin their financial year. The second day of the festival, Naraka Chaturdasi, marks the vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama. Amavasya, the third day of Deepawali, marks the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth in her most benevolent mood, fulfilling the wishes of her devotees. Amavasya also tells the story of Lord Vishnu, who in his dwarf incarnation vanquished the Bali, and banished him to Patala. It is on the fourth day of Deepawali, Kartika Shudda Padyami, that Bali went to patala and took the reins of his new kingdom in there. The fifth day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya (also called Bhai Dooj), and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes.

 While the story behind Deepavali and the manner of celebration varies from region to region (festive fireworks, worship, lights, sharing of sweets), the essence is the same – to rejoice in the Inner Light (Atman) or the underlying Reality of all things (Brahman). It’s a celebration of the victory of good over evil; the uplifting of spiritual darkness

2011 date: 26 October
2012 date:13 November

Thank you, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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May Diwali
bring light to your spirit,
warmth to your home,
joy to your heart!

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5 Comments to “Happy Diwali!”

  1. Thank you for sharing this positive message.

  2. You’re welcome! I love the message of Diwali, even though I have never celebrated it. I think I should adopt every positive holiday into my culture too ;)

  3. You might also find the Thai festival, Loi Krathong, interesting… and it may have its roots in Diwali, since Thai culture is influenced by Indian culture. Thai Songkran festival also seems similar to the Indian Holi.

    Loi Krathong will Nov 10 this year… it’s always held during the full moon.

    • Thank you very much for your info! Sounds interesting indeed!

      Loi Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. In the western calendar this usually falls in November.Loi literally means ‘to float,’ while krathong refers to the lotus-shaped receptacle which can float on the water. Originally, the krathong was made of banana leaves or the layers of the trunk of a banana tree or a spider lily plant. A krathong contains food, betel nuts, flowers, joss sticks, candle and coins. Modern krathongs are more often made of bread or styrofoam. A bread krathong will disintegrate in a few a days and be eaten by fish and other animals. The traditional banana stalk krathongs are also biodegradable, but styrofoam krathongs are frowned on, since they are polluting and may take years to disappear. Regardless of the composition, a krathong will be decorated with elaborately-folded banana leaves, flowers, candles and incense sticks. A low value coin is sometimes included as an offering to the river spirits. During the night of the full moon, Thais will float their krathong on a river, canal or a pond lake. The festival is believed to originate in an ancient practice of paying respect to the spirit of the waters. Today it is simply a time to have fun.

      @ Wiki; Click.

      The Japanese seem to have a similar celebration; Tōrō nagashi

      Tōrō nagashi is a Japanese ceremony in which participants float paper lanterns (chōchin) down a river; tōrō is traditionally another word for lantern, while nagashi means “cruise, flow”. This is primarily done on the last evening of the Bon Festival festival based on the belief that this guides the spirits of the departed back to the other world.The ceremony may be done on some other days of the year for other reasons such as to commemorate those lost in the bombing of Hiroshima and those who died on Japan Airlines Flight 123; or in other areas of the world, such as Hawaii, to commemorate the end of World War II. The Bon Festival takes place on the thirteenth to sixteenth of August or July, depending on the calendar you go by. The white lanterns are for those who have died in the past year. Traditional Japanese beliefs state that humans come from water, so the lanterns represent their bodies returning to water (traditionally the sea in this case).

      Here the link to the Wiki article:

  4. “May Diwali
    bring light to your spirit,
    warmth to your home,
    joy to your heart!”
    beautiful – and to you !
    I really enjoyed this post, I’ve been in India for Divali, and boy does it get crazy out there!

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