Deepavali is coming soon!
Living and growing up in this multiracial country is very lucky because we get to celebrate a lot of awesome festivals. Festivals always remind people to practice good values. Thus, the celebration of every festival makes us feel the happiness and harmonies. I appreciate every festival regardless it belongs to which race or religion.
I love Deepavali because it’s a colourful festival. Every year around the festival, we can see beautiful Rangoli arts at neighbours’ door sides and in every shopping mall.
Since Deepavali is coming soon, let’s check how well you know about this festival! What will you answer if your children ask you these questions?
#1 Is it an Indian festival?
Deepavali marks the start of a new financial year for Indian businesses worldwide. Although Deepavali is India’s biggest national holiday and it’s widely celebrated by Indians around the world, it is actually a Hindu holiday and it’s celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs and Newar Buddhists. The five-day festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Deepavali (a.k.a. Diwali) is also known as the ‘festival of lights’ because it means ‘series of lights’ in Sanskrit.
#2 Why are there so many lights and lamps during the celebration of Deepavali?
During the festival, we can see our Hindu friends and neighbours light up oil lamps to decorate their homes, offices and even public spaces like parks. Have you ever wondered what is the meaning behind it? As mentioned, Deepavali in Sanskrit means ‘series of lights’, thus, light is a very important physical and spiritual symbol of the festival which symbolizes the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. Moreover, it is believed that the lamps can guide Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, to your places.
#3 What is Rangoli?
When I was a small kid, I was very curious about the beautiful Rangoli that my neighbours drew during Deepavali. I envied the neighbour kids very much because they could use the colourful sand to decorate their doorways.
The purpose of Rangoli is similar with Henna Tattoo, it is believed to bring good lucks. We can see Rangoli during Deepavali and other festivals, marriage celebrations and special gatherings. The general materials used to draw Rangoli are such as coloured rice, dry flour, coloured sand, flower petals etc. Rangoli designs can be simple geometric shapes, deity impressions, or simple floral patterns, but they can also be very elaborated designs like what we usually see in shopping malls.
#4 How many days do people celebrate Deepavali?
Although we only have one day of public holiday for Deepavali, the celebration takes 5 days. The rituals and preparations begin days and weeks in advance, and the festival begins two days before the night of Deepavali, ends two days thereafter.
Days and weeks before the festival, people will clean and decorate or even renovate their houses and offices. Wonder how to celebrate during the festival? You can watch this short video.
#5 How to celebrate Deepavali together with my Hindu friends?
Every one of us has friends, colleagues, neighbours or clients who celebrate Deepavali. Since Deepavali is one of the most important Hinduism festivals, we should learn how to celebrate the festival with our Hindu friends.
First, you must wish your Hindu friends good luck for the coming year. Deepavali is like the new year in Hinduism, so it’s good to wish your friends for a fruitful new year.
Unlike a lot of other festivals which people celebrate with meat dishes, Deepavali is a meatless festival. You can go vegetarian during this festival! It is proven that going meat-free for a short period is very beneficial for our health. Let’s take this good opportunity to go meatless together with your Hindu friends to cleanse your body!
As Deepavali is a colourful festival, we can also celebrate it by wearing traditional Indian clothes like the colourful Saree!
Draw some simple henna tattoos on your hands is also a fun way to celebrate Deepavali.
During the night of Deepavali, you can also switch off your electrical lights for few hours, instead light up some oil lamps or candles around your house and spend the night with your family or lover.
We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday during this Deepavali. Hope you spend some quality times with your family and get some good rests.