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Diwali:Fesitval of Lights

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

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Written by Rachna Mutreja

Diwali, the most well-known Indian festival of the year, is the festival of lights where families light candles made of clay (called diyas) all around their homes. The celebration of the festival involves eating a lot of sweets, exchanging gifts and bursting fireworks. It is a religious event, signifying many different things to people. In general, it signifies the renewal of life, and people normally to wear new clothes on the day of the festival. Diwali is analogous to the new year.

On Diwali, families pray together for the new year and wish for prosperity. Although Diwali is on one day, it is usually celebrated for four to seven days.

The first day is called “Dhanteras” and people hang mango leaves on doorways. They also draw “rangolis” which are decorations with different colored powders and rice. Diyas are lit all around the house.

The second day or Kali Chaudas is also called Chhoti Diwali.

The third day is Diwali. On this day, homes are decorated with rangoli and lit up with diyas. This day is devoted to the Goddess Lakshmi, who symbolizes prosperity and wealth. A prayer (“puja”) is done to Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu. Traditionally, Diwali is the last financial day of the year in Indian businesses. Businesses perform “chopda pujan” in which they pray for the new year for the business. After the prayers, families get together and celebrate by lighting firecrackers, dancing, exchanging gifts and eating together. The last day of the celebration is when families dress in new clothes, wear new jewelry and visit families and relatives to exchange gifts and present fruits and other sweets.

Diwali, one of the longest festivals in the Hindu year, is when everything in India is on holiday except for family life, feasting and shopping. Diwali is believed to be auspicious for shopping, housewarmings, business deals or for starting any new endeavors.

The date on which Diwali is celebrated is determined by the moon cycle. Diwali always falls on a full moon. This year it will be celebrated on November 1st.

In light of the Indian new year, the Indian Students Association (ISA) presents a Culture Show every year with various performances including skits, dances, songs, fashion show, et cetera. This year, the show is being held on the evening of November 12 in War Memorial Hall.

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  1. Posted by: Deep on Nov 15, 2005 @ 10:39pm

    Goood job!! pretty interesting.. Keep it up :)

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