Diwali is known as the festival of lights and is a five-day ceremony of spirituality, love, and gratitude.
Diwali is India’s biggest, brightest and most important annual holiday. It takes place in either October or November every year. While it is celebrated in every part of India, countries such as Nepal, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Fiji recognize Diwali as an official holiday too.
Many religions take part in Diwali, but for Hindus, Diwali is one of the most significant commemorations of the year, and they use it as a chance to spend time with family and friends. During this sacred time, Hindus pray to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha.
Diwali comes from ancient Indian Mythology when Lord Rama and Lakshman saved Sita from Ravan and returned her home safely. The day they made it home is celebrated as Diwali.
The tradition continued and today, people come together to celebrate conquering good over evil, and light over darkness. Diwali festival of lights is closely linked to the New Year and Hindus use it as an opportunity to celebrate new life and new beginnings.
Much of Diwali festival of lights is spent in the temple or simply at home where families prepare feasts, clean and exchange gifts. Colourful flowers and mandalas are displayed everywhere.
But the most familiar Diwali custom is the lighting of diyas and candles. Twinkling fairy lights and vibrant lanterns are also popular decorations. And all across the world, fireworks and firecrackers will flash and boom during these five special days.
Perhaps we can all use Diwali as an opportunity to focus on the bright side! Taking time to glorify all that is good in the world is something that will benefit everybody, regardless of race, creed or nationality! Focusing on the positive aspects of life is so beneficial to our overall mental and physical health and well-being. Just look at Number 1 on this brilliant article by Dr. Travis Bradbury – 9 Habits of Highly Emotionally Intelligent People
3 Ways Everyone Can Celebrate Diwali festival of lights
Light Up Your Lives
Diyas are little boat-shaped oil lamps, native to India and Nepal. They are intrinsically linked with Diwali and their image is often used to represent the festival. Diyas are usually constructed from clay and lit via a cotton wick.
If you are not living in a place where diyas are an everyday object, there are many online websites, such as pepperfry.com where you can purchase beautiful and authentic diyas in a range of materials.
Rangoli is a colourful patterned design created on the floor to welcome guests into homes while warding off evil and negativity. During Diwali, they are also used to encourage Lakshmi to enter. Rangoli are a spiritual symbol of Hinduism and are associated with peace and patience. Usually, a white outline is drawn and then brights beads or sand is used to fill in the complex design.
While not directly linked to rangoli, mandalas are similar intricate designs that have gained global popularity in recent years and have become fashionable in clothes, accessories, even tattoos. They are also one of the most sought-after version of adult coloring books. Check out Cleverpedia’s compilation of 20 brilliant mandala coloring books for some stress-busting downtime.
Spend Time with Loved Ones
The essence of Diwali is love. And this is something we could probably all demonstrate more of in our lives. Making a conscious effort to spend quality time with our loved ones and to stay connected with people. To show compassion, empathy, and kindness in our everyday lives is really harnessing the spirit of Diwali, no matter what your geographical location!
Diwali 2017 will begin on Thursday 19th of October – although it does take place a day earlier in South India. Due to some famous faces, like Ivanka Trump and Justin Trudeau celebrating Diwali in recent years, the festival of lights profile is on the increase.