Hi Pragna, can you tell us a bit more about the festival?
Diwali (row of lights) is the festival of lights which is commemorated all over the world by Hindu, Sikh, and Jain communities. This major festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. Everyone has their own way of celebrating this festival, however, the enthusiasm, joy, and energy bring everyone together.
Although different regions have their own stories, the essence of Diwali remains the same, families come together to celebrate with worship, sharing foods, decorating their homes with candles, and wearing new and traditional clothing.
Why is Diwali Celebrated?
Diwali celebrates the start of the New Year, and the times for new beginnings. It is believed that the lamps which are lit in homes will dispel darkness and negativity, creating inner peace, light and good fortune, for the year ahead. Diwali is celebrated over five days. Activities, events, and gatherings are organised within communities, for friends and family to attend.
Day 1 – Dhanteras, this day is dedicated to cleaning our homes and purchasing small items of gold.
Day 2 – Naraka Chaturdashi, commemorates the destruction of Narakasura by Lord Krishna. Prayers are also offered to the souls of our ancestors.
Day 3 – Lakshmi puja, this day is for lighting diyas (candles) and seeking blessings from the Goddess Lakshmi to ensure the families thrive in prosperity over the upcoming year.
Day 4 – this is the start of the Hindu New Year.
Day 5 – Bhai Bij, this day celebrates the bonds between siblings and prayers are made for well-being and success.
What does this celebration mean for your family?
It means the beginning of the New Year ahead. We worship Goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesh together at Diwali. Goddess Laxmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, Lord Ganesh removes obstacles and embeds wisdom and intellect in individuals, helping them gain knowledge and good fortune for the year ahead.
We celebrate it by ensuring our homes are decorated and well-lit with candles and lamps to invite lightness and prosperity into our lives for the upcoming year. We visit families and friends, share amazing food, drinks, and gifts. We like to wear traditional outfits which symbolise our heritage, many of the women will wear sarees or lehenga cholis. I love to dress up in my traditional clothing, eat all the great foods, and spend time with family and friends.
Diwali is the most anticipated festival for many Hindus, and, as every year, I am looking forward to it!