An Important Hindu Festival – Diwali

Diwali is an important Hindu festival, it is celebrated all around the world among Hindu communities. Diwali is also known as the Festival of Lights. Hindus celebrate Diwali as the Christians celebrates Christmas and is basically a celebration of the victory of the light and the goodness over the darkness and the evil. Diwali celebrated to remember multiple historical events throughout the history of Hinduism. First, on this day Lord Rama returned home after fourteen years of exile. When Lord Rama retuned home, people welcome him with a display of candles and lamps.

Then, Diwali is also celebrated to commemorate Lord Krishna’s conquest over the evil demon called Narakasura. Next, celebration of Diwali is also connected with a Hindu goddess Lakshmi, Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity in Hindu religion. Diwali is celebrated in Gujrat as a beginning of the financial business new year. Diwali is not only a Hindu religion, but also celebrated by other religions which include Sikhs and Jains. The word Diwali is originated form word deepavali which means row of lights. “Diwali is an official holiday on India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka as well as in some other Asian, Caribbean, and South Pacific countries.” (Fieldhouse, 2017, p. 150). The festival of Diwali falls in October or November, and is held on the darkest nights of Hindu lunar month.

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Diwali is also an important festival for religions other than Hinduism in India. It’s celebrated among Jains and Sikhs throughout the world too. Jains celebrate Diwali, because on this day their leader Mahavira achieved nirvana. Mahavira is the leader that gave Jainism its current form. For Sikhs, there’s also an important historical event that associates with Diwali. On this day the sixth guru of Sikhs, Guru Hargobind was released form imprisonment in Gwalior. When he was released, he brought along 50 other princes that were imprisoned along with him back to Amritsar on the day of Diwali. Guru was welcomed to the Golden Temple by lighting thousands of lamps (Fieldhouse).

In Bengal, India at the time of Diwali another Hindu goddess is celebrated the most is Kali. “A complex goddess who is seen as both a frightening figure of destruction and moral ambivalence, but also seen as a mother-figure since she’s a form of mother goddess Durga.” (Williams, 2017, p.74).

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