FC: Diwali | Festival of Lights
1: Diwali, or deepavali, is the biggest and most important holiday of the year in India. It is commonly referred to as the festival of lights, and it's celebrated in October or November of each year. Diwali is as important to Hindus as Christmas is to Christians. | Introduction
2: The festival gets its name from the row of clay lamps that Indians light outside their homes. These lamps, or diyas, symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness. The day Diawli is held on each year is decided based on the position of the moon.
3: Diwali originated as a harvest festival that marked the last harvest of the year before winter.In the past, India was an agricultural society where people would seek the divine blessing of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
4: All around India there are different interpretations of the story surrounding Diwali. However, they all agree that the festival is the celebration of the victory of good over evil.
5: Some Indians today believe that Lakshmi wanders the Earth looking for homes where she will be welcome. So, people open their windows and doors and light the lamps to invite her in.
6: Although, it started as a religious celebration Diwali has now become a national festival that is enjoyed by most Indians regardless of faith. Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs all gather together for the five day festival. Indians celebrate with family gatherings, decorative clay lamps, fireworks, strings of lights, bonfires, flowers, candy, and worship to Lakshmi.
8: The Five Days of Diwali On the first day of Diwali, housewives consider it bad luck to spring clean their homes and shop for certain items. On the second day, people decorate their homes with the diyas and create design patterns called rangoli on the floor using colored sand.
9: The third day of Diwali is the main day of celebration. Some families gather together for a special prayer to Goddess Lakshmi. The first day of the new year is the fourth day of Diwali. This is when friends and relatives visit with gifts and best wishes for the season. The final day of Diwali is when brothers visit their married sisters who welcome them with a lavish meal.
10: Today Indians celebrate Diwali all around the world. Communities come together to throw festivals in their own towns. They hold dances, cook giant feasts, and exchange gifts. In India, people from all around the world come to take part in the festival that lights up the country.
11: Resources Hora, Reenita M. "Diwali, India's Festival of Light." National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2013. "Diwali." Diwali - Diwali 2013,Diwali Gifts India,Diwali Festival. SCFI Festival Network, n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2013. Resources for Pictures "Wallpapers Happy Deepawali." Wallpapers For Facebook Status Happy Deepawali Greeting Cards Diwali - FunyLool.com. Funylool.com, n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2013. "Diwali Celebrations 2013: Your Pictures." BBC News. BBC, 3 Nov. 2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.