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Diwali- Everyone's Festival of Light
Some Diwali Images
Diwali- The Festival of Hope and Joy
When Lord Ram defeated Ravana and rescued his wife, it set the script for the one of the most loved festivals of all time, in the Indian Context, Diwali. If analysed dispassionately, the Ramayan was a story which talked about all the usual human emotions like joy, greed, jealousy, anger, forgiveness and pity. What made this story(or reality) special is that we all like winners and most of us could identlify with the characters in the Ramayan. Ram, the present day "Good Boy", who is kind and just and always behaves in an appropriate manner. Kaushalya, his mother, was the epitome of motherhood, the all sacrificing, loving and caring woman. Kaikeyi, the insecure mother, consumed by greed and jealousy, who wanted her son to be the king. Bharat, as Rama's brother and Kaikeyi's son, who for once, had the courage to stand up to his mother and deny her ambition at the cost of his brother's legacy. If we compare the Ramayana to the present day TV Serials, we realise that there is no originality in their story line...Its been done before ...but we are still hooked and watch them religiously.
When Lord Rama returned after rescuing his wife from the clutches of Ravana, his arrival was greeted with joy and festivities by the denizens of Ayodhya. In fact, since he had to travel through South Indis before reaching Ayodhya, Diwali is celebrated a day before in south India as compared to North India. The people lit lamps (Diya's), burst crackers to celebrate his arrival, symbolising the victory of good over evil, of love over lust, of binding family ties over splitting ties. Everyone loves a happy ending and the Ramayana gives us just that.
Sweets,Crackers and Fireworks
Though, nowadays, bursting crackers is frowned upon (because of excess number of them, pollution is just terrible and also to reduce the profitability of these cracker companies who employ children to manufacture them), but children being children, still love to burst them (irrespective of what they are taught in schools). The practice of giving sweets and visiting your neighbours and loved ones has reduced considerably with people simply couriering the sweets (blame it on traffic :)),but the emotions still are in place. Giving "Baksheesh" to our helpers is a ritual that is followed and one has to keep small change handy to give it to the Dhobi, Postman, Maid , Watchman and who ever else that comes our way. They expect it and we comply. Thats what makes us Indians. Thats the only time, perhaps, we give Tips.
Diwali is fun, frolic, spirituality and respect all thrown into one. It symbolises hope that however bad things may become, there is going to be day, when when everything shall go right for you. Check out this site and this one for more information on Diwali.
Some links for additional Information
- Diwali - Festival of Lights - History & Significance of Diwali
Deepawali or Diwali is the biggest of all Hindu festivals. Learn about its origin, significance, and the four days of celebrations that mark this auspicious occasion.