Diwali :: One of the World’s Biggest Festival
When the roads around are filled with sparkling lanterns, when the crowd has come out on streets either for the purpose of shopping or for paying visits to their relatives’ place, when the t-points are lighted with beautiful earthen lamps, when temples are extraordinarily adorned with flowers and showy decorations, when every other corner is accumulated with hoardings of crackers or diyas and people are usually seen bargaining with the shopkeepers, when sweets are sweeter and wide in variety, when discounts are offered for all things possible from electronics to flight rates, when winters are about to set in and we feel cosy with the sense of belongingness from our loved ones by our side, there is definitely a streak of Hindu custom around you and that is what we call Diwali. With laughter and giggles all around, the festive bells ringing around the corner, Diwali is set to begin and Diwali greetings start flowing.
The occasion of getting together and celebrating the days of this light-filled festival is a gust of joy and cheer all around. On this eve, we have been told several mythological stories about Hindu Gods, the famous one being the story of advent of Lord Rama and his wife Sita to the land of Ayodhya after they defeat the devil Ravana and finish an exile of fourteen long years. This not only marks the triumph of virtue over evil, but also motivates us to strive for the path of truth and belief.
To celebrate the homecoming of their upcoming king and queen, natives of Ayodhya welcomed them with long processions and hundreds of lamps which illuminated the whole land. The city gave a glimpse of heaven and people came out on streets to express their gratitude and contentment for their hero. From that year, to mark the significance of repatriation of Lord Rama and Sita, we celebrate Diwali every year according to days in the Hindu calendar.
Diwali is a festival of Greetings and in all the schools there are competitions where students participate in Diwali Greeting Cards Making.
Brought up in a Hindu family and being a member of techie generation, I have been hearing various stories about Lord Rama and his kingdom. I was always excited to see the burning effigy of nefarious Ravana, watch the Ramleela plays in our locality and Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana one month before the day Diwali on local TV cable. Also, our teacher recited numerous verses from the Gita and enlightened us with all lessons one could possibly learn from the life of Rama, his brothers and his family.
I enjoyed these sessions from the days of my childhood and still take out time to watch the Ramayana series on TV way before Diwali. The Puja, the sweets and the Shagun are the only parts which I could count as benefits from this festival. I still remember those days and feel nostalgic about the tales my grandma would recite to all of us.
This festival marks the beginning of winter and signifies the importance of light and truth in our lives. One should always follow the path of righteousness and shun any evil and selfish practices. Only then we mean to celebrate Diwali in true sense.