Whether you call it Diwali, Deepawali, or the Festival of Lights, it’s the time of the year filled with happiness, joy, sharing, gifts, tidying, shopping, and most of all, best of all…
CRA-Z ’bout fireworks. Boom! Boom! Boom!
On the back of a zooming two-wheeler, I heard small pops, as children threw those little popping things onto the streets, and, although horribly composed, it was music to my ears. The sign that it was the time of the year, when houses are glorified to welcome the goddess of wealth and prosperity, the deepaks, diyas, and lights are lit to welcome God Rama after 14 years of exile, and roads are cleared in order to make way for the rocketing fireworks! The brightest, loudest, and greatest celebration in India, every corner of the nation.
The day of Diwali is celebrated on the 15th day of the Indian month Kartika, but the entire celebration lasts for a total of 5 days. According to Hindu mythology, God Rama was exiled to live in the forest for 14 years, where his beloved wife, Sita, was kidnapped by the King of Demons, the 10-faced Ravana. In order to retrieve her, Rama fought and won against many demons and Ravana. When Rama returned to Ayodhya, his homeland, diyas(clay lamps) were lit to celebrate his victory and his return.
The tradition continues today, and diyas are made, decorated, and lit all five days of the celebration. In addition, it is common belief among Hindus that Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, comes upon Earth on this day, and enters the brightest and cleanest house, so houses are crazily cleaned for an entire month before the day.