Let the light of knowledge shine

2016-10-27 06:00
 <Children with their traditional attire and the girl in the centre holding a tray with diyas (lamps).                                                       Photo: SUPPLIED

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Diwali or Deepavali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the largest and brightest festivals celebrated by Hindus across the globe.

It is traditionally celebrated over five days, with the main day of celebration the third day which falls on the darkest moonless night of the month, Kartik (October/ November). This year, Diwali will be celebrated on the 30th of October. In North India, the festival also marks the beginning of a new year.

Deepavali, a Hindi word, means a “row of lamps”. The lamp or diya is largely symbolic of the festival.

Lamps are lit throughout the five days of celebration, and are seen to bring light, joy and prosperity into Hindu homes during this auspicious time.

The light has always been a symbol of whatever is positive in the world.

To Hindus, darkness represents ignorance, and light is a metaphor for knowledge.

The lighting of a lamp symbolizes the destruction, through knowledge, of all negative forces- wickedness, violence, lust, anger, envy, greed, bigotry, fear, injustice, oppression and suffering.

The festival carries great and varying religious and cultural significance among the several sects of Hinduism, with the universal message being that of good triumphing over evil

The festival is widely identified by new beginnings, lights, bursting of fireworks, sweetmeats, feasts as well as time with family and friends.

Each of the holy days of the festival is reserved for specific traditions and rituals, but what remains constant throughout is the celebration of spirituality, life, family, friends and merriment.

All Hindus are wished a peaceful and blissful Diwali. May light continue to conquer over darkness in your life.

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