Diwali: Celebrating Positive Beginnings
On November 14th, Indian communities all over the world will celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Although, like many festivals and celebrations this year, Diwali may not be marked with the usual five-day fanfare, it remains an important time for many people around the world. And, according to the Hindu calendar, it celebrates a new year and heralds new, positive beginnings—something we could all do with right now!
I recently spoke with the lifestyle site marthastewart.com about the upcoming festival and the origin of the word "Diwali," which is from the Sanskrit word "Deepavali" where "deepa" means light and "vali" means row—as in a "row of lights." This is exactly what is seen in homes during this time—rows of light in celebration of the festival.
Electric lights are often used to decorate the outside of people’s homes, with "diyas" (earthen candles or small clay lamps) used indoors. One may also find intricate rangoli art inside homes. These are patterns created on the floor using either rice or colored powder.
Celebrated Around the World
Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains, with each of these groups honoring some historical figure and significance that sees light triumphing darkness. It’s an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji.
Although Diwali 2020 celebrations may not be as loud and colorful as previous years, the festival will remain a time for positivity and hope. May it bring you peace, prosperity, success, health, and great happiness for the year ahead.