Behold! Diwali is round the corner again. It’s time to bring out all the beautiful traditional clothes and delicious sweets to celebrate. Diwali or Deepavali, meaning "row of lights", is a five day festival. It is the most important and most graciously celebrated festival for Hindus all over the world.
The story behind celebrating Diwali is fascinating. It is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Lord Rama over the ten headed demon king Ravana. It is believed that when Lord Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Laxman returned after their fourteen year exile in the forest, people of Ayodhya welcomed them by lighting lamps in rows of twenty.
During these five days, Hindus worship the Goddess Laxmi. Decorating their homes with lamps and lights known as ‘diyas’, they also make vibrant floral designs called Rangoli on the floor with coloured powder. As the evening sets in, people exchange sweets and greetings and use firecrackers to add to the effect of the beautiful lights and celebrate the victory of Lord Rama.
Another common feature of Diwali is the intimate fairs organised by local communities. These are generally over weekends to bring the community together to enjoy this auspicious festival. Local handicrafts and food are also sold on small stalls, proving popular with most. There is also a display of traditional dance and music performance which adds to the spirit of celebration.
The popular tradition of gambling on Diwali night still ensues. According to an ancient legend, it is said that on this day Paravati, Goddess of wealth, played dice with her husband Lord Shiva. She decreed that whoever played cards on Diwali night would prosper through the ensuing year. Games like Flush and Rummy are most commonly played.
Since Diwali stands for “the victory of good over evil”, a great deal of charity surrounds the festive period. Many visit orphanages and donate food and clothing whilst special meals are prepared in temples where everyone is welcomed to eat for free.
All in all, Diwali is a beautiful festival. If you can, attend a Diwali function and find out for yourself what the excitement is all about.
Here is Label wishing you a happy and prosperous Diwali!
Want to celebrate without leaving Loughborough? This year we are bringing Diwali to you! With an amazing performance evening in the Students Union to celebrate the festival, this event takes place on Monday the November 12th and is FREE and OPEN TO EVERYONE. The night will include live entertainment, singing, dancing, free food and some traditional storytelling on the background of Diwali. Doors open at 7.30pm.