Diwali

“The most beautiful aspects of fall November days are the sparkling lights, clear skies, tall signage, the clear halos on street lights in Leaside, and the smell of star anise”

 

The origin of Diwali

An ancient festival to celebrate the triumph of light over dark and good over evil, Diwali – from the Sanskrit word deep awali – is also significant in other religions including Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism.

It marks the homecoming of the God Lord Ram after vanquishing the demon king Ravana.

Diwali is also the Hindu New Year and therefore a major holiday in India, although it’s also celebrated by millions across the world, from India, Nepal and Malaysia to right here in Canada, with thousands attending Diwali lights switch-on events around the country.

The main festival night of Diwali takes place on the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika – all the better to see the fireworks and enjoy the symbolic burning of lamps and candles.

 

How is it celebrated?

Lights, lamps, fireworks, music, food, decorations – garlands of marigold-like flowers and jasmine will be sold on stalls all over India.

 

Homes are decorated with small clay oil lamps called diyas, lit in honor of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, while fireworks will be set off in celebration – often launched into the sky from the streets or snapped on to the pavement at your feet.

Rangoli patterns are created using rice, paint, colored sand or flower petals – colorful geometric designs for the entrance ways, living rooms or courtyards of houses that encourage and welcome the goddess Lakshmi.

 

Gifts and sweets may be exchanged, happy Diwali wishes and greetings are sent – increasingly via social media – and lavish festive meals will be prepared, while people like to buy and wear new clothes – making this a huge date in the Indian shopping calendar too.

It’s also a time that sees people thoroughly clean their homes and gardens to welcome in the New Year.

Then windows will be opened so that Lakshmi can enter homes to bring prosperity. The day after Diwali is also the beginning of the new financial year for Indian businesses.

Happy Diwali.

 

 

INDIAN STREET FOOD CO.

Tomorrow night at Indian Street Food, we celebrate Diwali with a glass of saffron sparkling and Gulab Jamun Cheesecake. Come and celebrate Diwali with us at ISF starting tomorrow.

 

 "Diya necklace, Dipavali Diwali November 2013" by Ramnath Bhat is licensed under CC BY 2.0