Diwali is one of the most significant and widely celebrated festivals in India and among Hindu communities around the world.
Diwali is a festival that celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. It has deep-rooted religious and cultural significance and is celebrated with enthusiasm and joy, fostering unity and togetherness among people of diverse backgrounds. It is a time of reflection, renewal, and the pursuit of prosperity and happiness.
Diwali has several religious associations, but one of the most important is its connection to Hinduism. It marks the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. The festival is celebrated to honor various deities and events, with the most common being:
- Lord Rama: Diwali is often associated with the return of Lord Rama, an incarnation of the god Vishnu, to his kingdom of Ayodhya after defeating the demon king Ravana. People light lamps and decorate their homes to welcome him.
- Goddess Lakshmi: Diwali is also dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. People pray for her blessings and often perform Lakshmi Puja (a ritual of worship) to seek her favor.
- Lord Krishna: In some regions of India, Diwali is celebrated as the day Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil.
Diwali holds significance for Jains as it marks the day when Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara, attained nirvana. In Sikhism, Diwali is associated with Guru Hargobind Ji’s release from imprisonment and his return to Amritsar.
1. Festival of Lights: The name “Diwali” itself is derived from the Sanskrit word “Deepavali,” which means a row of lights. During the festival, people light oil lamps, candles, and decorative lights to symbolize the triumph of light and knowledge over ignorance and darkness.
2. Unity in Diversity: Diwali transcends religious boundaries and is celebrated by people of various faiths across India and around the world. It serves as a unifying force, bringing people of different backgrounds together to celebrate the victory of good and the triumph of light.
3. Family and Community Bonding: Diwali is a time when families come together, exchange gifts, share special meals, and celebrate with great enthusiasm. It strengthens familial and communal bonds.
4. Renewal and Prosperity: It’s a time for cleaning and renovating homes, symbolizing the cleansing of impurities and inviting prosperity and good fortune into one’s life.
5. Feasting and Sweets: Special dishes and sweets are prepared, and people visit each other’s homes, exchange gifts, and share meals.
- (WashU) November 10-11, 2023 – Diwali 2023 – A Cultural Kaleidoscope, Edison Theatre, 6465 Forsyth Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63105
- November 4, 2023 – Diwali Rangoli Craft at 9:30am at Schlafly Library
- Dances of India presents its 46th Annual Performance by celebrating the legend behind Diwali, the Festival of Lights.
- Diwali Celebration & “Awaken the Light Within” Workshop from 6:00 – 7:45pm at 359 Old Meramec Station Rd, Ballwin, MO