Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Deepavali/Diwali!

Today is Deepavali or Diwali, one of the most important Hindu holidays of the year, and definitely the most widely celebrated one both in South Asia and among South Asian diaspora communities around the globe. Also known as the "Festival of Lights", Deepavali is most conspicuously celebrated with the lighting of many small lamps as well as laterns and other lights. Other traditions include dressing up in new clothes, eating sweets, and spending time with family.

Flowers of African marigold (Tagetes erecta 'Flagstaff'), which are very commonly used for festive decorations and votive offerings in India

Deepavali is associated with different historical and mythological events in various parts of India and thus differs somewhat in its religious meaning depending on local tradition, though it is immensely important and popular throughout the Hindu World. Apart from the various Hindu traditions, Sikhism and Jainism also mark Deepavali as a holiday. If you want to know more about the various Deepavali traditions, you can have a look at the relevant Wikipedia page here. In addition, if you want to get a sense of how the festival is celebrated in different parts of the world or simply want to look at some beautiful photography, I recommend this Boston Globe "photo album" of Deepavali 2009: The Big Picture - Diwali 2009

4 comments:

  1. It sounds like a very nice tradition. Have fun in your holiday and Happy Deepavali/Diwali!

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  2. Hi College Gardener! Thanks for the Diwali greetings. Yes, it is a big and happy festival for Hindus and Sikhs.Have a nice weekend!

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  3. Here in Malaysia, open houses are held where friends are welcome to join in the celebrations.

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  4. Thanks fer - I am actually not Hindu or Sikh - or of Indian origin, for that matter - but many of my friends are so I get to celebrate with them.

    lotusleaf - Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a great holiday weekend!

    Autumn Belle - That sounds wonderful; I always think holidays are best when they are shared with all.

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Thanks for stopping by!