Diwali, the festival of lights, is an ancient Hindu holy day and celebration. It is a time filled with light and love and celebrates the remembrance of Lord Rama’s glorious return to his kingdom after 14 years of exile.
The festival is 5 days long, each day having its own rituals and significance, but the main night of the festival is Diwali, the third night. It coincides with the new moon and also marks the New Year.
Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil, righteousness over deceit, truth over falsehood and light over darkness. Streets and homes are decorated with lanterns and lights, fireworks go off and people play with sparklers in the streets. These are all symbols for the “true light” that is being celebrated. The true light is the light of God that is within all of us, the light that dissolves ignorance, the light that shines through anger and suffering, the Divine Light that guides us through life and connects us with family and God.
Since Diwali marks the New Year, a new beginning is celebrated. People clean out their homes, shop for new things and reflect on their lives. Prayers are offered to many deities during Diwali, but the main Goddess of Diwali is Lakshmi. She is the goddess of wealth and prosperity. The light on Diwali is believed to light her path, so people open their doors and windows to welcome her in, wanting their New Year to be blessed with prosperity.
Let us all celebrate the good within each of us, the Divine light that connects us. Let us be refreshed, renewed and always conscious of living in light.
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