happy di­wali

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

“Di­wali,” which is also re­ferred to as Deep­avali and Di­vali, is an im­por­tant fes­ti­val in In­dia that is mainly cel­e­brated by the Hin­dus. It is also known as the fes­ti­val of light. Ev­ery year, the date of this fes­ti­val is cal­cu­lated by the Hindu lu­nar cal­en­dar. In 2016, the fes­ti­val will be held on Oc­to­ber 30.

1. Di­wali is cel­e­brated on the fif­teenth day of the Hindu month of Kar­tika. Hin­duism is a ma­jor religion of In­dia, and is con­sid­ered to be the old­est religion in the world.

2. More than 800 mil­lion peo­ple cel­e­brate this fes­ti­val in var­i­ous ways. 3. It is cel­e­brated in honor of Lakshmi. 4. The fes­ti­val also marks the re­turn of the Lord Rama and Sita af­ter com­plet­ing 14 years in ex­ile.

5. The word Di­wali means “the row of lighted lamps (diyas)” in Hindi. 6. The fes­ti­val sig­ni­fies the vic­tory of light over dark­ness. 7. Di­wali also marks a ma­jor shop­ping fes­ti­val in the places where it is cel­e­brated. There are spe­cial dis­counts and of­fers that busi­nesses pro­vide to their cus­tomers. Buy­ing new things dur­ing this fes­ti­val is con­sid­ered to be good.

8. It is the most fa­mous, big­gest and bright­est fes­ti­val of In­dia, and is cel­e­brated for five days.

9. It is a na­tional hol­i­day in In­dia, Trinidad & Tobago, Myan­mar, Nepal, Mau­ri­tius, Guyana, Sin­ga­pore, Suri­nam, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Fiji.

10. On the same night that Di­wali is cel­e­brated, Jains cel­e­brate a fes­ti­val of lights to mark the at­tain­ment of mok­sha by Ma­havira.

11. Oil and light lamps are used in high num­bers in and around peo­ples’ houses and prop­er­ties to cel­e­brate the fes­ti­val. The fes­ti­val com­mem­o­rates the light­ing that was done to bring Lord Rama and his wife Sita from the for­est of Ay­o­d­hya.

12. Diyas light the houses; fire­works il­lu­mi­nate the skies and ran­goli dec­o­rates the out­side Hindu homes. They do this to at­tract Lakshmi, of good for­tune.

13. Tra­di­tional diyas (light lamps) used dur­ing Di­wali are earthen lamps, al­though plas­tic and metal­lic diyas have also be­come avail­able re­cently. These diyas are filled with ghee or oil, and a cot­ton wick is used to bear the flame. 14. And the diyas are left burn­ing all night. 15. Sikhs also cel­e­brate Di­wali, as it marks the re­lease of their gurji - Guru Har­gob­ind Sahibji - and 52 other kings and princess of In­dia that were made cap­tives by the mogul em­peror Shah Ja­han.

16. It is a tra­di­tion to clean the house, mak­ing it spot­less be­fore en­ter­ing the New Year.

17. Busi­nesses also start new ac­count­ing books, and farm­ers end the har­vest sea­son. The fes­ti­val also sig­nals the on­set of win­ter.

18. Hin­dus all over the world, and es­pe­cially in In­dia cel­e­brate the fes­ti­val by ex­chang­ing gifts, wear­ing new clothes and pre­par­ing fes­tive meals.

19. Di­wali is also cel­e­brated in honor of the mar­riage of the Vishnu and Lakshmi. And it also marks the tri­umph of the Kr­ishna over the de­mon Naraka. Hin­dus in Ben­gal honor the fear­some Kali on the oc­ca­sion of Di­wali.

20. The English city of Le­ices­ter hosts the big­gest Di­wali cel­e­bra­tions out­side of In­dia.

21. Di­wali also plays a sig­nif­i­cant role in Sikhism. The foun­da­tion stone of the Golden Tem­ple was laid on the day of Di­wali in 1577.

22. “Shubh Deep­avali” is a cus­tom­ary greet­ing associated with Di­wali. It means, “Have an aus­pi­cious di­wali”.

23. Dur­ing the fes­ti­val of Di­wali, fire­works worth bil­lions of dol­lars are ig­nited. These fire­works cause a lot of pol­lu­tion, which is a par­tic­u­larly life haz­ard for those liv­ing in densely pop­u­lated ar­eas such as the cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chen­nai in In­dia. Fire­works pro­duce a va­ri­ety of pol­lu­tants af­fect­ing sound, light, air and wa­ter.

24. These fire­works cause health haz­ards such as res­pi­ra­tory is­sues, heart at­tacks, high blood pres­sure and many more. More­over, fire­works dur­ing Di­wali also cause safety haz­ards to the chil­dren han­dling them. Many of these fire­crack­ers burst near chil­dren, caus­ing them di­rect in­juries. Hence, nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions must be taken dur­ing the fes­ti­val sea­son, and a more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly way of cel­e­brat­ing the fes­ti­val should be adopted in the com­ing years.

25. Elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion also rises sig­nif­i­cantly dur­ing the fes­ti­val sea­son, which re­sults in heavy use of diesel gen­er­a­tors to meet the de­mand for power. In turn, more pol­lu­tion is caused due to the burn­ing of fos­sil fu­els.

26. The to­tal cost of the fire­crack­ers ex­ploded in Di­wali is es­ti­mated to be around $1 bil­lion. This is a sig­nif­i­cant amount of money, which could be used for other pur­poses like pro­vid­ing ed­u­ca­tion and bet­ter health care fa­cil­i­ties to those in­di­vid­u­als who need them. Ref­er­ences: http://pri­ma­ry­home­workhelp.co.uk/religion/di­wali.htm • http://www.kidz­world.com/ar­ti­cle/27580-all-about-di­wali • http://www.fact­mon­ster.com/spot/di­wali1.html • http://www.msn.com/en-in/news/photos/10-di­wali-fact­syou-should-know/ss-BBaBaFX • http://www.di­waligift­sideas.com/di­wali-facts.html • http://www.time­and­date.com/hol­i­days/pak­istan/ • http://www.the­health­site.com/news/di­wali-2014-6-rea­sons-you-should-avoid-fire­crack­ers-this-di­wali/ http://the­fact­file.org/di­wali-facts/

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