As we move in to
the last quarter of the year it brings with it a number of festivals and
celebrations. This October or Hindu communities will be celebrating the
beautiful Festival of Lights known as Deepavali (Diwali). Diwali symbolizes the
spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge
over ignorance.” Light is a metaphor for knowledge and consciousness.
During the festival which last s 4 – 5 days the Hindu community goes all out with the most beautiful decorations which are bright in color and symbolism for the festival. The homes and doorways are decorated with Rangoli (which are brightly colored intricate designs and patterns made using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, and colored sand or flower petals) and Kolam (which is a form of drawing that is drawn by using rice flour, chalk, chalk powder or rock powder).
Being the festival of light, you will also see many Diyas being lit around homes as a sign of welcome to the Goddess Lakshmi. For those who don’t know, Diyas are small oil lamps shaped like cups with cotton and candle wicks. Homes are filled with light during this festival and candles and lamps play a big part in the décor of Hindu homes.
In preparation for the festival Hindus will clean their homes as a way of purifying the environment to make way for the fresh and positive energy of Deepavali and the new year.
Finally along with any celebration comes along delicious traditional cakes and sweets for the day. Some of them are “murukku”, “omopadi”, “athirrsam”, “achi murukku”, “laddu” and “mysore pahu”. If you have loved ones of the Hindu faith you will know all of those names and how delicious they are.
Hopefully this has enlightened you about the wonderful festival of Deepavali and you too can take part in the celebrations with your Hindu friends, neighbors and co-workers.