Saturday 10 October 2015

Deepavali

by Manisha Mahadeva, Junior 1 Cempaka, Class of 2017
All photographs by Manisha Mahadeva


It's that time of the year again! The festival of lights; a time to sing, dance and have fun! Every year, this festival is celebrated with joy and excitement, not only to Hindus but to everyone around them as well.


The Festival of Lights is known in two names: ‘Deepavali’, for the Southern Hindus, and ‘Diwali’, for the Northern Hindus. Deepavali originates from the word ‘Deepam’, which means light, whereas Diwali comes from ‘Diwa’ which also means lights. Many families all over the world are getting ready, buying new Indian bling or clothes, their houses decked with bright and colourful lights all around. 

Why do people celebrate this joyous festival? Well, relating to the meaning of the two names, it is mainly to symbolise the victory of light over darkness and the empowerment over evil. This is a great way to show strength and courage in unity and that is when many people come together and light their oil lamps and candles around their houses in unison. 

The beauty of this festival is that it is celebrated by people of all ages. The little children will dress up in their gaudy outfits, play with the blazing sparklers and dance around the sparks. Many families like to prepare a ‘kolam’, which is a form of drawing. This can be done using colourful rice, chalk or flour. It is believed that these beautiful and unique drawings bring prosperity the homes of those who practice this.          



There are many other rituals and traditions performed during the celebration of Deepavali or Diwali done together with family and friends, but they all have one thing in common. All of them show that no matter what, if we all come together and help each other, there is nothing that cannot be achieved and we will always be able to surpass any barriers in our path. 

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