Diwali Festival 2017
Diwali (Divali, Deepavali) is a festival of juxtapositions: light and dark, good and evil, ignorance and wisdom. Luckily, and to the delight of festival-goers around the world, goodness, light and wisdom always win out. This five-day Hindu festival (also celebrated by Buddhists, Sihks and Jains), is a dazzling homage to the beauty and joy of life.
What is Diwali / Deepavali?
Though primarily celebrated in India and across Asia, Diwali is an important event for Hindus across the globe. Even countries like Japan and Britain play host to this illuminating festival.
Held in October or November, Diwali began as an ancient Indian harvest festival and is closely tied to several influential Hindu gods. The word itself is derived from ‘avali’ (row) and ‘deepa’ (lamps) – the combination of which represents the rows of lights families place around their homes to symbolize the triumph of light over darkness.
When is Diwali / Deepavali?
The date for Diwali is decided upon the Hindu lunar calendar. The festival usually falls between mid-October and mid-November.
Flash! Bang! Pop!
Diwali is a festival for the senses as well as the soul. Lanterns illuminate the night, incense fills the air, firecrackers echo and sugary treats abound, and in the midst of it all, everyone finds time for a little self-reflection.
Flaming diyas (small clay lanterns) and explosive firecrackers are the hallmarks of the Diwali celebration. While the diyas drive out the darkness (i.e. evil, negativity, etc.) and usher in health, prosperity and peace; the popping firecrackers are a symbol of earthly joy. However, serving the dual purpose of killing off post-rain mosquitos by the thousands is an added bonus.
All bets are on!
Though some cultures wring their collective hands at the thought of gambling, during Diwali it’s something of a sure bet. Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva are apparently quite the dice enthusiasts, and are kind enough to bestow their good luck on believers. It is widely thought that those who gamble in the name of their beloved Gods during Diwali will reap their rewards throughout the year. However, gaming isn’t just limited to tossing the dice; traditional card games, charades, musical chairs and scavenger hunts are also popular.