Diwali was celebrated on November 4th. (Photo credit: National Geographic Kids)
Diwali is a Hindu festival which is known as festival of lights.
“The word ‘Diwali’ derives from Sanskrit and means “a row of lights.” Festivities include the illumination of lights, candles, firecrackers, and diya(clay lamps) to symbolize the victory of good over evil, inner light over spiritual darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. Diwali is a time for gathering with loved ones, celebrating life, and committing to making the right decisions in life” said from the website hinduamerican.org.
Diwali is celebrated once a year generally around late spring or early fall. This year it was on November 4th. This festival is the biggest festival in India, in a way it is similar to Christmas.
“Generally, Diwali is celebrated over five days with each day holding a special significance,” said on hinduamerican.org.
The five days of Diwali start with day one being Dhanteras, second day Kalichaudas (also known as Choti Diwali), third day being Diwali, fourth day New Year (many regions within India) and the fifth day being Bhai Bheej.
The festival starts by people deep cleaning there houses prior to Diwali arriving. They do this with the believe that Goddess Laxmi will happily come into clean home. Then the families would decorate their homes with lights and new curtains and do Rangolis, (form of art created with powder color), on the porch of the house. The main thing that is used is diyas (Indian candles) and this is used to bring the light in a home. The diyas are put on the outside around the house and inside.
In the morning of the festival, families go to the temple to pray, then go to relative’s house to meet and greet them with a box of sweets. In the evening, they go out to eat or have relatives and friends over for a party. Tons of fireworks are done to end the day with a loud celebration.
Benedictine University has an Asian community and every year they try to do something to celebrate this festival.