12 November, 2007

Diwali - The Festival of Lights

Deepawali is a five day Hindu festival that occurs on the fifteenth day of Kartika (October/November). The word "Deepawali" means "rows of lighted lamps" or "array of lamps," and the celebration is often referred to as the "Festival of Lights" much in the same way the Jewish holiday of Hannukah is referred to as the "Festival of Lights."

Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil - and the glory of light. This festival commemorates Lord Rama's return to his kingdom Ayodhya after completing his 14-year exile.

During Diwali, homes are thoroughly cleaned and windows are opened to welcome Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. Candles and lamps (diyas) are lit as a greeting to Goddess Lakshmi.

In some states, the festival begins with Dhanteras, a day set aside to worship Goddess Lakshmi. In the Indian culture, wealth, mythologically, is not viewed as a corruptive power. Rather, a wealthy person is considered to have been rewarded for good deeds of a past life.

On the second day of the festival, Kali, the goddess of Strength, is worshipped. This day also focuses on abolishing laziness and evil.

On the third day (the last day of the year in the lunar calendar), lamps are lit and shine brightly in every home. The lamp symbolizes knowledge and encourages reflection upon the purpose of each day in the festival. The goal is to remember the purpose throughout the year.

The fourth day of Diwali falls on the first day of the lunar New Year. At this time, old business accounts are settled and new books are opened. The books are worshipped in a special ceremony and the purpose is to remove anger, hate and jealousy from one's lives.

The final day of the festival, Balipratipada, is dedicated to an ancient Indian king, Bali whose humility had saved him from destruction.

As far as Diwali at The Krishnans' goes, I'll just let the pictures say the story.













"Come out into the Universe of Light. Everything in the Universe is yours, stretch out your arms and embrace it with love." ~ Swami Vivekananda


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15 voice(s) said so:

Sue said...

Great photos!

I say, thanks for the explanation of the New Year thing. This is the first time I've noticed new year greetings being tossed to and fro after Diwali, and I had been rather puzzled.

Kodi's Mom said...

hey fantastic pics as always - some words/captions to go with them please? Aparna's dress is beautiful!

Rohini said...

Belated Diwali wishes. Nice post...

Nits said...

hi gauri,

nice post. nice pix. I'm Nithya and i got ur blog id from ur cousin Shankar, who happens to be a relative of mine - technically my uncle. He also happens to be my husband's colleague.
i live in the US and hv started writing a blog on my kid 2. dats how v got ur blog details frm Shanker.
hv been following ur blog for the last couple of weeks. u write real well and i love the look of the blog 2. wow, it must b a lot of work with 2 kids running around in the house.

Poppins said...

Hey such lovely lovely pictures ! Awesome.

Happy Deepavali !

Dee said...

it was a treat watching the color and spirit of Deepavali!

Orchid said...

Gauri, you are such an inspiration..I mean I appreciate how you put in all that effort to make everything special for the kids every single time. Some memories you are making there!
Fab pictures!

choxbox said...

very nice pix. kids look very happy!

the mad momma said...

and the pics say it all. the kids look lovely as do the senior krishnans :) belated diwali and new year wishes!!

karmickids said...

Lovely, loved Abhay so dapper in his blue sherwani. And the group photo at the end was priceless....Happy Diwali to you too!

Itchingtowrite said...

u hav done it so well! i feel bad for not doing it in a more gala way
loved the tulips in one of the pics

Tharini said...

Tagged G!

http://winkiesways.blogspot.com/2007/11/more-sunrises-and-gift-hands.html

choxbox said...

just noticed that appu will turn 8 in a few weeks!

Krishnapriyacr said...

Lovely snaps, Gauri. Wishin the kids and you a very belated Diwali!

~nm said...

Loved the kids ensembles and the laddoos in the thali in the puja pictures :D