Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Diwali

“Diwālī or Dīpāvali (also transliterated Deepavali; Sanskrit: row of lights) is the Hindu Festival of Lights. For Jains it is one of the most important festivals, and beginning of the Jain year. It is also a significant festival for the Sikh faith.

Diwali is one of the most popular and eagerly awaited festivals of India. The date of Diwali is based on the Hindu calendar, which has solar sidereal years and lunar months. It is celebrated for 5 consecutive days in the Hindu month of Ashwayuja which usually corresponds to the month of October or November. Hindus, Jains and Sikhs celebrate Diwali and use the occasion to celebrate life and strengthen relationships.

Celebrations focus on lights and lamps, particularly traditional diyas. Fireworks may also be associated with the festival in some regions.”

Diwali was celebrated on the campus on November 1st. For this special occasion, most students (including exchange students) were wearing traditional indian clothes.

Putting the saree on, wearing the bracelets, earings and bendi, adjusting the saree, trying to walk, adjusting the saree again… Took me a while to get ready.

The evening was all about stick dances, crackers and fireworks. I then went for a ride on the bike with my boy, still wearing the saree. Back earlier than expected due to heavy rain. Ended up in another student’s room to play cards.

The tradition of gambling on Diwali has a legend behind it. It is believed that on this day, Goddess Parvati played dice with her husband Lord Shiva and she decreed that whosoever gambled on Diwali night would prosper throughout the ensuing year.

The continually changing rules (mainly in Hindi) and the lack of luck made me lose every single game. What is the saying in French? Heureux au jeu, malheureux en amour!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

YOUR ARTICLE IS SHORT N SWEET. SEEMS THAT YOU'VE WRITTEN UR HEART OUT. VERY EXPRESSIVE! KARISHMA, INDIA

Anonymous said...

An interesting, and informative, perspective. Thank you for sharing. I wish you well.

Thank You.


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Shaant said...

u seem to have really blended well with indian traditions,
some of the things u mentioned about diwali, like the hindu calendar month were things i never knew.....

wonder i'll have to start my own sojourn of india discovery.

ciao......