Diwali on the
Square 28th Oct 2012
| Enthusiastically celebrated by people of all nationalities, races and religions,
Diwali, the festival of lights creates a magical world of joy and festivity. It
celebrates the triumphant victory of good over evil – and the glory of light
over darkness, a beam of hope over despair. The word Diwali or Deepavali
(in its full form), means ‘a row of lamps’.
Diwali marks a new beginning, a renewal of commitment to family values,
and represents all the good virtues we seek such as love, reflection,
forgiveness and knowledge.
Hindu Festival of Diwali
|Hindus observe Diwali over a period of five days. The first day of Diwali,
called Dhanvantari Trayodasi sees the Hindu families offering prayers
to the Goddess of wealth (Lakshmi) to remember wealth is considered a
benediction from God.
The second day, called Narak Chaturdasi is associated with the defeat
of the demon king Narakasura by Lord Krishna, who freed 16,000 captive
women. This day reminds us not to abuse our power and to channel our
strength for the greater benefit of mankind.
||The third day is actually Diwali. According to the Ramayana, the people of
Ayodhya illuminated the kingdom with earthen lamps (diyas) to celebrate
the return of their king, Lord Rama after he defeated the demon king Ravana
who captured his wife Sita.
The fourth day is the Govardhana Puja (Hindu New Year), and is a time
for reconciliation and forgiveness. On this day, Hindus offer thanksgiving to
cows and worship Lord Krishna with offerings of food arranged in the form of
Govardhana, a hill in Vrindavana.
|The fifth day of Diwali is called Bhaiya Duj and is dedicated to the
relationship between a brother and a sister. It is a day when every brother
takes time to visit the home of his sister and her family.
The Sikh Festival of Diwali
Sikhs celebrate Diwali to express their joy at the return of the sixth Guru,
Guru Har Gobind Ji to Amritsar in 1620. Emperor Jahangir had imprisoned
him along with 52 Hindu kings. The Guru was granted freedom but
refused to leave until the kings were also released. To commemorate his
determination and undying love for Sikhism, people lit the way to the Golden
Temple in his honour.
The Jain Festival of Diwali
The Jains celebrate Diwali as a festival of light, a symbolic representation of
the knowledge that was given by Lord Mahavira for the peace and welfare
of all living beings. It marks the anniversary of the attainment of moksha by
Mahavira in 527 BCE and achievement of omniscience by his chief disciple