C'mon Inner Peace… I Don't Have All Damn Day
Diwali, also known as Deepvali, is the called the “Festival of Lights” and symbolizes “good defeating evil for Hindus. It’s celebrated during a five day period in autumn, marking the Hindu New Year.
The third day is the actual “Diwali” celebration, and the actual word “Diwali” roughly translates to “row of lights.”
But, Diwali is not just a Hindu holiday celebrated in India. Millions of Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains celebrate their own traditions in countries like Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Trinidad, and Guyana.
Buddhists like myself would acknowledge the day Emperor Ashoka set off on a path of peace which ultimately spread the word of Buddha far and wide. Similar to Hindu, Buddhist Diwali is a celebration of good triumphing over evil, but with different players.
In Nepal, Buddhists celebrate the “returning of light and balance to the world,” and in general there is a strong theme of enlightenment that “lifts the human soul and mind beyond the earthly plane, and reunites with universal consciousness.” In other words, for Buddhists this is a celebration of the journey towards Nirvana.
Manpreet being Sikh, would acknowledge Guru Hargobind Ji freeing himself and other Hindu kings from prison in a celebration called “the Bandi Chhor Divas.”
Guru Hargobind was set to be released from prison, but 52 other local kings stood up in protest for their own release. It was said by King Jahangir, that whom ever could hold onto Guru Hargobind’s cloak would also be released… assuming only a few could grab on.
Not to be outdone, Guru Hargobind spent the night stitching 52 pieces of robes onto his cloak, saving all of the men. Since that day, Sikhs visit the homes of friends and family sharing sweets on Diwali.
The Golden Temple in Amristar India is the center of the Sikh religion, much like the Vatican to Catholics and is decorated with millions of lights and fireworks displays on Diwali. (see pic above) The Golden Temple has become a world-wide destination of places you “must see” during Diwali, and through-out the year.
The popularity of this holiday is growing in the west, especially among the yoga-culture. Much like the Mexican celebration of Cinco De Mayo or St. Patricks day to the Irish, immigrants bring their traditions along and the new country adopts their own unique style of celebration.
While customs vary, Diwali is celebrated in high-regard much like Christmas or Chanukah, and held as the biggest holiday in India.
Families exchange gifts and wear beautiful clothing. They decorate their homes and neighborhoods with sparkling lights which are meant to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, into their homes. Lord Rama is also honored for his triumph over evil after fourteen years in exile.
Small celebrations are gaining popularity in the United States, but one of the largest Diwali celebrations outside of India takes place in the United Kingdom, where Indians are the largest minority group.
Here in the Tampa Bay area, we celebrated Diwali along the Hillsborough river at the Waterworks Park. Since my hubby is Indian, my son and I chose to embrace our newly adopted culture, and my own journey to enlightenment by joining the festivities. We had a blast lighting the candles and dancing for hours. I hope this beautiful holiday gains more recognition in the west, as we need more light in all of our lives.
Many Blessings for the new year.
To find out more about Diwali, click on the link–>http://www.ibtimes.com/what-diwali-2015-festival-light-celebrates-good-defeating-evil-2173793
For more stories in the Gori and the Sikh category, click—> HERE
Read about “My Indian Boyfriend “—>HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: Indian Astrology —> HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: The Dress —> HERE
Surviving Long Distance Love—> HERE
Open Letter to my Husband—> HERE
Our Honeymoon, Rishikesh India—> HERE
Fiance Visa Process—> HERE
Cr1 Marriage Visa Timeline—> HERE
US Embassy Interview—> HERE
Journey to New Delhi—> HERE
First Trip to Jaipur India —> HERE
Our First Diwali—> HERE
Giving Thanks, Shukryia —> HERE
Being Sikh in America—> HERE
The Indian Grocery—> HERE
A Path to Happiness—> HERE
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