Festival of lights in India - Diwali festival: what date in 2016? History and traditions of Diwali - Indian holiday of lights
Diwali (or Deepavali) is the main and, perhaps, the brightest holiday in India. “Deepa” is translated as “fire”, “lamp”. And "vali" means "a lot". Thus, the name of the holiday from Sanskrit can be translated as a "fiery bunch". No wonder the festival is also called the Festival of Lights. The history of the celebration of Diwali has more than 7,000 years.
Now that Indian culture is loved by many far beyond India, it is useful to learn about the history and traditions of the main Indian festival Diwali. So, plunge into the deep and colorful world of Indian culture.
Diwali in 2016 - what date?
Do you know that in India there is a calendar that differs from the usual Gregorian calendar? On it, and calculated the date of the celebration of Diwali. However, in the high life this calendar is rarely used.So, in the Indian calendar there is a month called Kartika, it is at the beginning of this month (on the new moon) that Diwali is celebrated. In 2016, the Festival of Lights in India begins on October 30th. In other years, the holiday falls on a different date:
In 2018 - November 7
In 2019 - October 27
In 2020 - November 14
After you read about spiritual traditions and the boundless beauty of the Diwali holiday, you may need these dates to plan a trip to India and see it with your own eyes. By the way, you can enjoy the extravaganza of fire and light on Diwali for five whole days - just as many Indians celebrate their main holiday.
The meaning and history of the festival Diwali
For all Indian peoples, the Festival of Lights is of great importance despite the fact that they explain the origin of the festival of Diwali in different ways.
Followers of visnuismbelieve that the beginning of the holiday was put back from exile and the ascension to the royal throne of Rama - the seventh incarnation of the god Vishnu. After the coronation, all the streets of the country were illuminated with lights as a sign of the beginning of a new, bright time.
For many regions of India, Diwali marks the beginning of the New Year. For example, traders fromWestern indiaBefore this holiday, the results of their activities are summed up: they clean up the shops and put books in order.
And onEast of the countryDiwali festival is dedicated to the dark and furious goddess Kali, who symbolizes the cult of force and destruction. However, Kali carries a lot of constructive things: she fights against ignorance, maintains order in the world, accompanies those who seek to know God.
OnSouthern indiaThe festival of lights is held in honor of the victory of Krishna over the demon Narakasura. As a sign of the victory of good over evil, Indians rub their bodies with special oil, more often - coconut. This ceremony is equivalent to immersion in the sacred waters of the Ganges and purifies people from sins.
butmost indiansDiwali dedicates to the goddess of wealth and fertility Lakshmi - the wife of the god Vinshnu. Lakshmi is the goddess of purity and light, so before the Diwali festival, Indians carefully clean the houses and light all the lamps.
EvenMuslims in IndiaCelebrate Diwali: they (but not only they) play cards, bones and other gambling, because the goddess Lakshmi brings good luck.
The festival of Diwali is very kind and colorful, with a rich history.It spread far beyond the borders of India - in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar, Japan and other countries. The festival of lights has spread even in Western countries. For example, in the video below - the celebration of Diwali in Canada.
Indian festival Diwali traditions
Whatever history is associated with the origin of Diwali, hardly anyone will argue that the Festival of Lights is a celebration of the victory of good over evil, of truth over lies and light over darkness. This is a celebration of the victory of enlightenment, which the Indians have always associated with the light.
The traditions of Diwali have a special, spiritual meaning. As mentioned above, the people of India before the holiday take care of the cleanliness of their homes and bodies. Thoughts must also be pure. Meditation practices help renew the body and mind.
At the Festival of Lights in India, it is customary to refrain from five major vices: passion, anger, greed, affection and selfishness. This is a time for cleansing not only the body and thoughts, but also actions. Diwali is also a time to pay bills: financial and karmic.
The countless number of lights decorating houses on Diwali's holiday symbolize the light of reason.In the dwellings special clay lamps (diya) are placed, which personify the five attributes of the Universe - fire and water, earth and air, as well as space. The fire of the lamp symbolizes the soul. Oil lamp means spiritual enlightenment. To save the fire is always burning - to be always conscious:
Big cities shine with lights of illumination. Everything shines: trees, statues of gods, walls of houses, and terraces. Electric lights are everywhere and clay lamps are placed. Around the sound of Bengal lights and fireworks. Small villages are lit up by the flame of a multitude of wick candles, which float in the reservoirs and tremble on the roofs of the huts.
Not only the lights are an essential attribute of the festival of Diwali, but also flowers. For example, garlands of calendula and other flowers are also a symbol of Diwali. Petals of flowers decorate houses and streets.
Colorful prayer drawings called rangoli are also an element of the Festival of Lights in India. They can be made of flowers or wood, but more often they are painted with the help of special crumbly paints. Rangoli are located on the outer walls of houses and especially - at the front door. Rangoli is a way to attract the goddess Lakshmi.
Diwali is a celebration of renewal. Before the festival lights throw out old things and buy new ones. And in the holiday itself, people dress up in new clothes and new decorations.
Sari with gold ornaments symbolizes the Golden Age - the age of pure light and harmony. Old clothes should be discarded as a reminder of the Iron Age, which should end and give way to renewal.
At the Festival of Lights in India, people give each other gifts, especially sweets. Gift exchange is an important part of the Indian spiritual tradition. Indian holy Srila Rupa Goswami wrote:
Diwali is the triumph of goodness, light, purity, truth and consciousness.This is not just a bright festival of lights and a colorful spectacle, it is a celebration with deep spiritual traditions. During the celebration of Diwali, Indians can truly feel the warmth and dedication of loved ones, give nice gifts and accept them, share wisdom and, of course, treat each other with prasadam.
The best photos of Diwali
A small Indian girl is surrounded by garlands, the color of which resembles fire.
In the hands of the girls a tray with special lamps, which are called earthen. In the run-up to Diwali they are set on the ground so that the lights form a symbolic ornament or pattern.
The following photo shows the Hindu god of prosperity, Ganesh. The figure was made with the help of the same earthen lamps, which were discussed above. The inscription, located under the image of God, in Hindi says: "Happy Diwali".
Older women gathered around oil lamps - diya to celebrate Diwali.
Indians light candles at the Festival of Lights in the vicinity of the New Delhi Temple.
In honor of the Diwali festival, a woman decorates the threshold of her house with a colorful pattern and earthen lamps.
The girl lights candles before the Festival of Lights in the city of Allahabad, in northern India.
A homeless elderly Indian man is getting ready for bed on the street, surrounded by candles that a local vendor lit in front of his shop on the threshold of Diwali.
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