DIWALI - the festival of lights!
An occasion that allows people to bask in the warm afterglow of lights, Diwali is indeed a very attractive festival. Such is the fascination of this festival that it has become synonymous with the Indian culture. Apart from India, the festival of Deepavali has emerged as a strong influence on other countries, be it the celebration in the UK, or the Gulf countries or celebrations in Tokyo.
Rationale Behind Celebrations
Lord Rama is one of the most prominent Gods for Hindu. The festival of Diwali glorifies the much awaited return of Lord Rama from his exile of fourteen years. This day marked the return of the king of Ayodhya, Rama after defeating evil demon Ravana. During his exile to forest, he was accompanied by his wife, Sita and younger brother Laxmana. when Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, the king of Lanka, a fierce battle started between Lord Rama and Ravana. After defeating Ravana, it was time for Rama to return back to Ayodhya. Diwali marks his victorious return to his kingdom along with Hanuman, the Vanar who helped him in achieving success.
Another widely accepted and religiously followed version is worship of Mahalakshmi /Lakshmi , the goddess of wealth and good fortune. This may have certain semblance in the origin of harvest festivals in ancient times when agriculture was the source of wealth and fertility depended on uncertain weather conditions.
In today's modern world, the festival of lights is taken as a reaffirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friendship and goodwill. Diwali festival is a time for thoroughly spring-cleaning the home and for wearing new clothes and most importantly, decorating the home with fancy lights. Small oil lamps, also called diyas are placed around the home, on the walls built around the home and also on the roof tops. The traditional celebration also include gifting sweets and explosion of fires.