Colors, happiness, joy, family that is what Diwali is all about! Every year in the Fall, India and other nations in the region of Southern Asia celebrate Diwali, a holiday that focuses on how light overcomes darkness and celebrates new beginnings. This year it falls on Oct. 23 and provides an amazingly fun opportunity to learn more about Hindu culture as well as about the other groups that participate in the festivities. This is especially true if you find yourself traveling to India or another country in the region.
In some ways Diwali is similar to Christmas. Many different sects and groups celebrate the holy day but almost everyone does it in their own special way. The largest groups among the Hindu sects celebrate Diwali as the return of Lord Rama (and his wife and brother) from exile as is told in the Ramayana. This story is explained in this video:
Diwali celebrations happen across Southern Asia from Suriname to Singapore and while many celebrate a wide variety of traditions they all have the general theme of new beginning and the arrival of a new light in our lives.
Celebrations vary in scope and scale as well. In many places it is not uncommon for there to be enormous fireworks displays or parades. Generally, festivities include: spring-cleaning, wearing new clothes, exchanging gifts (often candies and dried fruits), eating and sharing festive meals, decorating homes with fancy lights, making varying colored displays before doorways as well as the previously mentioned fireworks.
These factors combined create a beautiful festival that is a must see for anyone.
Since the early 2000’s Diwali has been slowly spreading around the world where large celebrations have happened in New York City, London and even Dallas, TX. If we’ve piqued your interest check online and see if there will be a Diwali celebration near your own home. But, we’d also like to hear from you! Share your Diwali experiences in our comment section and let everyone know your favorite part of the Festival of Light!