- Posted September 29, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Diwali, the festival of lights
Diwali Hindu festival of lights.
Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.
For a vast majority of Hindus Diwali is one of the most important religious festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities and joyfully dance together in their homes.
The name "Diwali" or "Divali" is a contraction of deepavali which translates into "row of lamps". Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. These lamps are kept on during the night and one's house is cleaned, both done in order to make the goddess Laksami feels welcome. Usually fireworks and firecrackers are burst because it is believed that it drives away all evil spirits and demons. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and other traditional refreshments with family and loved ones. Most worship is done around to please the goddess of wealth and the Indian business community attaches a lot of importance to this occasion.
Diwali also marks the end of the harvest season in most of India. Farmers give thanks for the bounty of the year gone by, and pray for a good harvest for the year to come. Traditionally this marked the closing of accounts for businesses dependent on the agrarian cycle, and is the last major celebration before winter. Lakhsmi the goddess which symbolises wealth and prosperity, and her blessings are invoked for a good year ahead.
Hindus living all across the world celebrate this event with much pomp and show and every member of the family seems whole heartedly involved.
In Canada mandirs (Hindu place of worships) are packed with families praying and singing praise towards their creator. As goodwill gesture sweets and other gifts are exchanged amongst family members and friends. Many more cultural and social (often dance and music) events also take place in various banquet halls and community centers.
Perspective from an observer’s point of view, one could easily say that this festival can be termed as an event not only for Hindus but rather for all humanity, as many other communities feel welcome at these events and could be seen interacting with all and enjoying this occasion.
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