Nov
3

The Meaning of Diwali

Diwali is a special time in the calendar for much of the community, however it might not be as common for some. Thanks to local community member Sudhir, who has provided a rundown of what it means to celebrate Diwali.  

Diwali is a festival celebrated in India and many countries across the world and is associated with Goddess Lakshami, the goddess of prosperity and wealth in Hinduism as well as the day that Lord Rama came back to his kingdom after 14 years exile. The festival is symbolic of good over evil. In Australia, the festival is celebrated in a multicultural way with many communities celebrating it together.

Diwali is part of five days long post harvesting festivities - Day 1 is Dhanteras, Day 2 is Chotti Diwali, Diwali being day 3. This day is also celebrated in Jainism as Mahavira Nirvana Diwas and by Sikhs as Bandi Chor Diwas. 

Diwali preparations start with cleaning up of the homes weeks before Diwali officially begins. Homes are thoroughly cleaned and decorated with rangoli, lights, lamps and flowers for Diwali celebrations at home.

Families perform Puja at home and then light the lamps, which is followed by a feast of sweets. In India, the celebration is not complete without firecrackers in the streets. 

In Australia, firecrackers have been replaced by party poppers and sparkles. Many buildings and major landmarks in cities are lit up to celebrate the Festival of Lights. The impact of festivities of Diwali is seen after the sunset with lights decorating homes and buildings.

On Diwali, the houses are lit with lights and decorated with flowers. Many decorate with Rangoli at the entrance of the house and with decoration of lamps and candles. This year due to the second wave of covid hitting hard in India, many families have lost dear ones and may not celebrate the festival with the same zeal.

The festival is celebrated with a vegetarian food feast and mithai (Indian sweets). There is a stream of visitors coming on this special day to celebrate with each other with families, friends and neighbours exchanging gifts and sweets.There are no large physical Diwali festivals this year in Melbourne, all community events are being organised and celebrated online for community safety.

Best wishes to the families and our local community on this festive period!


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