October 28, 2008

Happy Deepawali!

Deepawali, or Diwali for short, is one of the two major festivals of India. There are many stories associated with Diwali, but the most accepted one is that of Diwali being the day of the return of Lord Rama to his Kingdom Ayodhya after defeating Ravana in battle.

Ravana had earlier kidnapped Sita, wife of Lord Rama, and Lord Rama had followed Ravana to his kingdom, waged a long war and defeated him. The day Lord Rama defeated and killed Ravana is celebrated as Dusshera.

Twenty days after Dusshera - the time it took for Lord Rama to travel from Ravana's kingdom to his own - we celebrate Diwali. It is said that to welcome Rama on his return, all the houses and nooks and corners of Ayodhya were lit up by the people. This tradition is followed to this day. Hence. Diwali is also known as the festival of lights.

To celebrate the occasion people exchange gifts of sweets among themselves, and light firecrackers. It is not uncommon for people to gain a few kilos of weight during Diwali because of the amount of sweets they consume. But, lately, with people increasingly focusing on health , sweets are being replaced by dry fruits.

The same is true for firecrackers. To keep pollution( both sound and air) in check, the number of hours during which firecrackers can be lit up have been restricted, and I think that has taken off some of the sheen of the festival.

But, despite that, Diwali is a great festival and provides a chance for families to get together and even the most busiest of persons takes a break and enjoys the day with their families.

I hope all of you have a great Diwali. Enjoy the day and be safe!


otilius said...

Happy Deepawali!
and thanks for explaining the holiday to us who do not know about it.

PERBS said...

I am glad I stopped back to read YOUR explanation -- much better than the internet one I found. Hope you ahd a wonderful celebration.

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