Diwali: The Festival of Lights – or Indian Christmas for the uninitiated. Every autumn, Indian families get together and celebrate with great grandeur. From decorating the entire house with grand lights to designing rangoli (mandala) art, to the buying and gifting of dry fruits…the whole family gets involved – and Indian families are huge. We spoke to The Indian Students Association and put together a list of things you might not know about this beautiful holiday:
1. The festival originates from Hindu mythology
It celebrates the return of Lord Ram from his battle against Ravana, the King of Lanka, who had abducted Ram’s wife, Sita. Basically, DRAMA.
2. Three different religions come together to celebrate every year
Hindus, Sikhs and Jains celebrate Diwali with the same enthusiasm all around the world – and it’s come to represent the cultural unity of Indians.
3. It’s all about positivity
The festival celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, hope over despair. Thousands of lights are ignited over rooftops, windows and doors, temples and shops.
And, to be honest, in these dark times where Donald Trump might become president of the United States in about a month, we could all use some Diwali light.
Luckily, here in Leeds, the Indian Students Association is holding their annual ‘Dhamakedaar Diwali’ on Sunday, 30th of October at Pyramid. With games like Saree-tying competitions during the day (it’s harder than it looks!), a three course Indian lunch, and a traditional walk to temple, this event will show you all the other things you might now know about Diwali – things this article cannot. And of course, it wouldn’t be a festival without a proper party: Bollywood beats all night long, Jaeger bombs and a completely lit dance floor (pun intended).
Anushka Agrawal and Bea Warleta
(Image courtesy of Vancity Buzz)