Happy Diwali to all who celebrate around the world!
Diwali, which is also referred to as the festival of lights, begins on November 4, 2021 and lasts for five days. The dates are based on the Hindu lunar calendar, and as such, are different each year. The holiday originated from the Hindu faith and is celebrated across India and beyond. Although Diwali is linked to several stories within religious text, a consistent theme of the Diwali stories is the triumph of good over evil. The reigning Diwali story primarily varies by region. For example, those who live in northern India typically celebrate the story of King Rama defeating Ravana and returning to Ayodhya. However, in southern India, Diwali celebrates Lord Krishna defeating the demon Narakasura. Additionally, in western India, the festival is recognized as the day that Lord Vishnu sent the demon King Bali to rule the nether world. To celebrate, people will light clay lamps, known as diyas, to signify the victor of good over evil, decorate doorsteps to welcome visitors, dress in new clothes to give thanks for good fortune, and light fireworks.
Self Reflection Questions:
- During Diwali, it is customary to light clay lamps, decorate doorsteps, wear new clothes, and light fireworks. How do these actions serve to represent and celebrate the Diwali theme of good overcoming evil?
- In what ways have you witnessed good overcome evil in the last year?
- How can we celebrate the “good” around us?