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Diwali: A Festival of Lights

Fireworks go off, lights flash, and flames are sparked as millions of people around the world celebrate Diwali.

Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a five-day Hindu festival. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (or deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness. Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year because it signifies the triumph of good over evil, of truth over falsehood, and of light over darkness.

Diwali is typically celebrated in October or November of each year. Indians celebrate with family gatherings, shining clay lamps, festive fireworks, flowers, sharing of sweets, and praying to Goddess Lakshmi, known as the Goddess of Wealth. The third day of the festival of Diwali is the most important day of Lakshmi-puja and is entirely devoted to the propitiation of Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi Puja, or the worship of the goddess of wealth, is the main event on Diwali in India. The reason Indians do the Lakshmi-puja is so that the Goddess will bless the families and the businesses they own. Hindu homes also worship Ganesh, the God known as the remover of obstacles, and then light diyas (little clay pots) in the streets and homes to welcome prosperity and well-being into the New Year.

To Hindus, darkness represents ignorance, and light is a metaphor for knowledge. By lighting a lamp it symbolizes the destruction through knowledge, of all negative forces such as violence, lust, anger, jealousy, envy, greed, and fear. From darkness into the light, the light empowers us to commit ourselves into good deeds, which bring us closer to divinity.


INDIAN GIRL LIGHTS A DEEPAWALI LAMP IN AHMEDABAD

Diwali is also the mark of the New Year. On this day, we clean our homes, pray to God, and spend time with our loved ones. By starting into the New Year, it is a year of starting over and starting fresh. By starting fresh, we release all the anger and ignorance we had in our hearts, and make them clean so we are able to love others freely without any regrets or negativity in our hearts holding us back. By getting rid of our greed, jealousy, and arrogance, that is how we are truly starting over and starting fresh into the New Year.

On this holiday, let us celebrate the New Year and come close to our family and friends. Let us pray to God and hope everyone is good in health and let us respect our elders. Wishing you a Happy Diwali and a Happy New Year 🙂

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