Diwali 2018 – A Carnival of Lights

Diwali is one of the biggest Hindu festivals, which is celebrated throughout India on the new moon. It falls on the fifteenth day of the Kartika, or Ashwin (october/november) month. It is performed in Indian communities all over the world. It is also called as the “festival of lights”, for the people, who traditionally light their house with small oil lamps (called diyas). They place these diyas in courtyards, verandahs, gardens and on roof-tops as well as outer walls. It is a harvest festival that starts the celebration of the Lunar New Year. Diwali has powerful astrological energies too.

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This year, the celebration of Diwali will be happened on Wednesday, 07th of November, 2018. It always features the distribution of sweets and the pleasure of fireworks, but it is a seasonal and astrological carnival marking the transition from the aged lunar year to the new in India. The Sanskrit meaning of Deepaavali (a garland of lamps) is the perfect explanation of this marvelous Indian fest of lights. The lamps are lit in North India to remind us of Lord Rama’s homecoming after fourteen years in exile to his empire of Ayodhya after winning the tyrant Ravana, who had kidnaped his wife Sita and held her in his fort of Lanka.

Rama’s heroic actions are defined in the Hindu epic Ramayana and Diwali celebrates the conquest of virtue over vice. In the tale, Rama, the fair heir to the throne of Ayodhya, agrees for an exile in the forest because of his father’s vow to his devious stepmother. He was in his exile with his lovely wife Sita and brother Lakshmana. Ramayana is the legend of his victory of evil with the aid of Hanuman (the monkey king) and the everlasting love of Sita.

Diwali signifies a lot of different things to the people across nation. In the Northern parts of India, Diwali celebrates Rama’s return to Ayondhya after the defeating of Ravana as well as his coronation as a king. The festival honors Lakshmi (the Goddess of wealth) in Gujrat and the event is associated with the Goddess Kali in Bengal.

For Jain community, the day commemorates the passing into Nirvana of Lord Mahavira, the most recent of the Jain Tirthankaras, or saints. The lighting of the lamps is illustrated as a material alternate for the light of sacred knowledge that was quenched with Mahavira’s passing.

Everywhere, it signifies the regeneration of life, and so it is the good thing to dress in new clothes on the day of the event. It seems to have begun as a harvest carnival, yet, as the starting of the lunar New Year, it heralds the approach of wintry weather and the starting of a new sowing season.

Five Day Festival

Diwali is a festival of five days which begins on the 15th day of the month of Kartika (Ashwin) according to the Hindu calendar. As per the Gregorian calendar, Diwali falls in November 2018. During this time, gifts are exchanged and festive food items are prepared.

Diwali marks the starting of the Hindu as well as Gujarati New Year and is performed with the lamps and candles along with lots of fireworks. It is the time to exchange sweets with friends and neighbors.