DIWALI CELEBRATIONS – 2014
The story behind the festival
Diwali or Deepavali (row of lamps) is an important and ancient Indian festival celebrated throughout India and in Indian communities around the world.
Colloquially known as The Festival of Lights, Diwali signifies the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and the renewal of life. Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama, his wife and brother from their 14-year exile and their defeat of the demon-king Ravana. Villagers celebrated the return of the Lord Rama by setting off fireworks and lighting diyas (clay lamps) to guide their journey back to their kingdom.
Traditional Diwali celebrations
Indian families celebrate Diwali with family and friends. They dress in traditional clothing, exchange Indian sweets or gifts, cook and eat Indian food, and enjoy song and dance. At night they decorate their homes with lights and set off fireworks.
Women will decorate their hands or feet in henna and decorate the entrance to their homes with Rangoli (decorations made from coloured powder, rice or flowers). The more religious families will start the day off with prayer.