Diwali, also known as the “festival of lights”, is one of the biggest Hindu holidays and many international students are preparing celebrations all over the United States.
Background about Diwali
- Festival celebrating the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance although the actual legends that go with the festival are different in different parts of India and different countries.
- Read all the different types of legends here
- Usually falls between mid-October and mid-November. This year it’s on November 3.
- It’s observed on the 15th day of the month of Kartika in the Hindu calendar.
- Official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji.
[quote]Regardless of the mythological explanation one prefers, what the festival of lights really stands for is a reaffirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friendship and goodwill, and a religiously sanctioned celebration of the simple-and some not so simple-joys of life. -Times of India editorial[/quote]
How do you celebrate?
- “Diwali” translates to “row of lamps”.
- Small clay lamps are filled with oil to signify triumph of good over evil. The lamps are kept on during the night and one’s house is cleaned to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome.
- Firecrackers are burst because it drives away evil spirits.
- Fireworks have grown in significance with the holiday.
- People celebrate with new clothes, share sweets and snacks with family members and friends, and exchanging gifts.
- The goddess Lakshmi, who symbolizes wealth, happiness, and prosperity is worshiped.
- Rangoli is an Indian traditional or folk art created on the floor. These embellishments are used for Diwali and other special occasions.
Students at the University in Toledo are preparing for their Diwali celebration on October 26. Thank you Chandni Mukesh Patel for sharing. Their celebration is called “Diya” which means “oil lamp”. Check out their sneak-peak video!