Hi there, we are off to India for a few days, or a week if you will. We’ll be touring the country, eating lots of yummy food, seeing one of the Wonders of the World and in general having a good time.
We’ll also be there for Diwali (also called Deepavali) The Festival of Lights. Here in Singapore, they already have decorations up in Little India for the event. All along the two main streets are big arches that light up at night with lots of colors. It’s quite a site.
From our friend the internet:
Diwali (also spelled Devali in certain regions) or Deepavali, popularly known as the “festival of lights“, is an important festival in Hinduism, celebrated for different reasons, occurring between mid-October and mid-November. For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BC.
The name “Diwali” is a contraction of “Deepavali” (Sanskrit: दीपावली Dīpāvalī), which translates into “row of lamps”. Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (diyas or dīpas) in Sanskrit: दीप) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends.
While the story behind Deepavali and the manner of celebration varies from region to region (festive fireworks, worship, lights, sharing of sweets), the essence is the same – to rejoice in the Inner Light (Atman) or the underlying Reality of all things (Brahman).
In Singapore, the festival is called “Deepavali”, and is a gazetted public holiday. Observed primarily by the minority Indian community (Tamils), it is typically marked by a light-up in the Little India district, the heart of the Indian community. Apart from the light-up, other activities such as bazaars, exhibitions, parades and concerts will also take place in Little India. The Hindu Endowment Board of Singapore along with Singapores’ government organizes many of these cultural events during the Deepavali period.
We’ll have some curry on behalf of all of you who can’t make it, wish us luck!