Popularly known as the “Festival of Lights”, Deepavali (Divali) is one of the most vibrant festivals celebrated worldwide by most Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs. The five days of Divali encompass the darkest day between the lunar months of Ashvin and Kartik, occurring this year from Saturday October 22 to Wednesday October 26.
Derived from Sanskrit, Deepavali means row (avali) of lights (deepa). Lamps lit for celebrate the light of higher knowledge dispelling ignorance, victory of light over darkness – cultivate an enlightenment within us, with which comes compassion, joy and peace.
On the first day the houses are cleaned and something new is bought for the house. On the second day, the entrances are adorned with intricate designs called rangolis and the houses are decorated with lights, lanterns and lamps.
The scent of garlands of delicate flowers ushers in the dawn of the central third day of Divali – which this year is Monday, October 24. While the legends and associated festivities vary from region to region, families and friends gather to worship, rejoice, and celebrate with flowers, delicious food, festive fireworks, decorative lights and twinkling lamps. Millions of twinkling lamps illuminate the hearts and the dark night of the new moon.
The day after Divali for many communities is the first day of the new year, when businesses mark the new fiscal year – friends and relatives visit with gifts. The last day of Divali commemorates the special relationship between brothers and sisters.
As fall heralds beautiful spiritual and cultural festivities, let us remember to be grateful for the blessings in our lives, to allow good and truth to prevail, to turn our cannonballs into a force for good , to cultivate an omnipresent awareness of our inner light and to share it with others.
May the divine light of Divali illuminate your days with blessings, joy, good health, peace and love, this week and in the coming year!
Questions? please contact Kalpa VithalaniExecutive Director of Technology Transfer at the University Relations Office of [email protected] or 414-288-0668.