The sig­nif­i­cance of Di­wali

Eyethu Baywatch - - FEATURE -

DI­WALI is one of the most pop­u­lar fes­ti­vals in the Hindu re­li­gion and is cel­e­brated with great en­thu­si­asm and fer­vour world­wide.

Pop­u­larly known as the ‘Fes­ti­val of Lights’, Di­wali is cel­e­brated with the soft glow of lights, gifts, sweet meats and colour­ful fire­works that light up the sky.

Some fam­i­lies cel­e­brate this fes­ti­val with a re­li­gious fast and other rit­u­als, while for oth­ers it is pri­mar­ily a so­cial oc­ca­sion where friends and rel­a­tives are vis­ited and sweets and food items are ex­changed.

It is also a time of giv­ing and re­ceiv­ing new clothes.

Di­wali has many leg­ends and reli- tra­di­tions as­so­ci­ated with it.

Lights are lit to sig­nify the driv­ing away of dark­ness and ig­no­rance, as well as the awak­en­ing of the light within our­selves.

God­dess Laxmi plays a ma­jor role in this fes­ti­val, as do Ram and Sita.


The lit­eral mean­ing of ‘Di­wali’ in San­skrit is ‘a row of lamps’.

Peo­ple dec­o­rate their houses with lights and colours.

En­trances are made colour­ful with beau­ti­ful tra­di­tional Ran­goli de­signs to wel­come Laxmi, the god­dess of wealth and pros­per­ity.

‘Ran­goli’ is a San­skrit word, sig­ni­fy­ing a creative ex­pres­sion of art by means of colours.

It is Indian tra­di­tional art which is gen­er­ally drawn with beau­ti­ful colour­ful pow­der on the floor dur­ing fes­tive oc­ca­sions.

The creative Ran­goli art is named dif­fer­ently in dif­fer­ent Indian states. In South In­dia, it is called ‘Ko­lam’.

Which­ever way cel­e­brated, Di­wali is a cel­e­bra­tion and tri­umph of light over dark­ness, good over evil and a time of giv­ing and shar­ing.

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