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    Today Hindus Celebrate Diwali: The Festival of Lights Featured

    October 22, 2014

    Hindus of Sri Lanka, India and many other countries will celebrate Deepavali (literally “a row of lamps”), also known as Deevali in many parts of India other than in Tamil Nadu, TODAY (22). Perhaps it is the most important and ancient of the Hindu festivals.

    It’s an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji. It is also known as the ‘Festival of Lights’ and although it is not a practice in Sri Lanka, in many parts of India families light small oil lamps (diyas) and candles around the home before setting off fireworks.

     

    Deepavali signifies the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and renewal of life. In some parts of India, people also start new ventures on this day after performing the Lakshmi Pooja. This is marked by the lighting of lamps, candles and diyas by the womenfolk in the family. The light and colour add to the celebrations. It is the day to worship light and dispel darkness from the mind. The Deepavali festival is associated with wealth and prosperity in many ways.

     

    In the northern parts of India, the festival is celebrated for five days. It usually takes place at the new moon on the 15th day of the Hindu month of Kartik or Karthika (October/November).

     

    This is at the beginning of the winter season and is called the “darkest night of the year”, so lamps are lit to brighten this moonless night. (kh)

    Last modified on Thursday, 23 October 2014 11:02

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