Saturday, October 17, 2009

Diwali - The Festival of Lights

We wish all of our friends in India and elsewhere a happy and a bright Diwali!

Diwali is the Festival of Lights—its outer form. The deeper meaning is to remind us of the inner light within. Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs all celebrate the festival although, in each case, a different historical or mythological event is the basis of a common celebration.

In the Sanskrit the word means “a row of lamps.” In Dravidian the word used is Deepavali. The festival is celebrated over a five day period, and in Hindu practice each day is the celebration of a different event or holy manifestation.

The holiday is based on the lunar calendar, hence Diwali begins on a different days each year; it always falls into the same month, however, the month in the Hindu calendar that corresponds to a four week period beginning mid-September and ending mid-October.  In extent, and certainly from a commercial perspective, Diwali  is equivalent to our Christmas. Preparations (decorations, big sales, the planning of major fireworks, etc.) were already under way in August of this year.
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Picture credit goes to Wikipedia here.

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