Diwali is one of the most popular events in the Indian calendar. It is celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs all over the world and the name Diwali translates to ‘festival of light’.It’s basically celebrates the triumph of good over evil.
The short version is that for 14 years Ram, and his wife, Sita were banished to the forest by the king. After many years, Ravana ten-headed-demon, kidnaped Sita and took her away to his island of Lanka. With the help of Hanuman, the monkey god, Ram rescued Sita and they were reunited. The people of their village, Ayodhya, lit oil lamps to guide Ram and Sita back home.
During Diwali, homes are given a clean and oil lamps and candles are lit to help guide Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, into their homes to bring good fortune. Gifts and sweets are shared with family and friends and fireworks are set off (this is also said to ward off evil spirits).
Diwali is also celebrated by Sikhs too. The 6th Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib, was wrongly imprisoned for his beliefs by Emperor Shah Jahan. The Guru stood up for what he believed in and refused to leave the prison where he was held until the other kings and princes that were unjustly imprisoned were released too. It was near Diwali they were all released and therefore made the occasion and even more joyous event and expressed another triumph of good over evil.
In Jainism, they remember Lord Mahavira as this was the day he attained Moksha (nirvana). Many Gods were said to be present illuminating the darkness during this time.
This year I celebrating Diwali last weekend with my family in Manchester, eating lots of Diwali food made by my mummy (such as chakri, khakhra and lots of indian sweets) and didn’t even feel guilty…at the time, now I’m totally stuffed like a paratha!
I wish you all the with love, light and lots of laughter for the new year, that’s the best kind of wealth.