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Nov-13-2012 11:33printcomments

Happy Deepavali from Salem-News.com

The five-day "Festival of Lights" in Asia is underway.

Diwali
Courtesy: marcelnunis.com

(SACRAMENTO, CA) - Spelled differently depending on the region, as it is observed with varying degrees of contrast depending on where the celebration is taking place, Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.

For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes.

It is so far from my culture yet I can still envision Deepavali; the five day festival of lights which starts on Dhanteras (Dhantrayodashi), celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) of the Hindu calendar month Ashwin and ends on Bhaubeej, celebrated on second lunar day of Shukla paksha (bright fortnight) of the Hindu calendar month Kartik.

I had a thought today about what the world and this nation in particular would be like, if we really lived in a multicultural way. The baseline of this thought is that the world's countries and cultures are full of different festivals and holidays that we all could learn so much from. Now Rud is an Iranian holiday our team has written about and I can't wait to someday see this. I believe the interest such cultural events would generate would alleviate thing like racial tension.

Maybe someday this will be the case.

More on Deepavali

    The name "Diwali" or "Divali" is a contraction of "Deepavali" (Sanskrit: दीपावली Dīpāvalī), which translates into "row of lamps". Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (dīpa in Sanskrit: दीप) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. These lamps are kept on during the night and one's house is cleaned, both done in order to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome. Firecrackers are burst because it is believed that it drives away evil spirits. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends.

    The festival starts with Dhanteras on which most Indian business communities begin their financial year. The second day of the festival is called the Naraka Chaturdasi. Amavasya, the third day of Diwali, marks the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. The fourth day of Diwali is known as Kartika Shudda Padyami. The fifth day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya (also called Bhai Dooj), and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwali

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