Diwali, the wonderful festival of lights is one of the festivities that has made the whole world fall in love with! For several days, countries such as India, Nepal or Sri Lanka are filled with lights and colours to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Known as Diwali, Tihar or Deepvali, this festival fills us with love and light every year. Learn more about this special celebration!
Diwali has a strong religious sense for Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. And although it is a common festival to all these religions, the main divinity in Diwali is Lakshmi who symbolises beauty and good luck as well as prosperity and wealth of its people. The symbolism of the celebration is the triumph of good over evil, of light over darkness. That’s why thousands of people light their homes and surroundings hoping that light will triumph over darkness and fill the coming year with peace and joy!
During the first day of the festival takes place the so-called ‘Spring Cleaning’. Thousands of people follow this tradition by cleaning their homes, getting rid of what they no longer need and some of them even decide to change the colours of the house for the new year.
If there is one thing that characterises Diwali, it’s the colours and the lights that are filling the countries! The houses and the streets of the cities are decorated with ‘rangolis’ of flowers or coloured powders and candles or ‘diyas’, oil lamps that are lit at dusk. This is the reason why the festival is nicknamed ‘Festival of Lights’!
It’s the most important day! The tradition says that an altar shall be set-up for the goddess Lakshmi and that it has to be surrounded by flowers, candles, incense and coins. In front of the goddess, families gather to pray before the celebration begins with fireworks that illuminate all parts of the India.
Hindu New Year begins! This day is meant to celebrate with family and friends by sharing traditional sweets, by offering gifts and of course by wishing the best for the coming year! At nightfall, thousands of Hindus open their windows to let light enter into their homes and gaze at the wonderful light show that is Diwali!
This last day must be spent with the brothers! Diwali ends with fraternal get-together to share a meal and time together in order to honour the bond with the brothers!
It is one of the celebrations that is part of Diwali and focuses on the veneration of the cow! Its origin goes back to the legend of the god Krishna who lived among shepherds without revealing his divinity. The legend says that one day Krishna saw how the rest of the shepherds was preparing a sacrifice ceremony and he asked his father the reason of such ceremony. His father then told him that it was an offering to the god Indra to make it rain on the fields where the cows were grazing. Krishna considered that it was only a superstition and the rest of the people decided to trust his belief. This angered the god Indra who sent a huge storm to flood the whole village. The inhabitants asked Krishna for help and the latter lifted the Govardhan hill with a single finger and brought the villagers and animals up to protect them. For six days, Indra didn’t give up his idea to flood the village but on the seventh day, he surrendered. Since then, Govardhan Puja has been celebrated to worship the god Krishna or god Govardhan. On this day, the Hindus distribute food among the population and give alms to the most needy. They also decorate the sacred cows with colourful flowers and provide them with large quantities of food. Today, many are those who walk the path to the legendary hill that Krishna lifted along with the cows!
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