“Deepavali (Diwali or Divali) is a “festival of lights”, is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November.
Before Diwali night, people clean, renovate and decorate their homes and offices. On Diwali night, Hindus dress up in new clothes or their best outfit, light up diyas(lamps and candles) inside and outside their home, participate in family puja (prayers) typically to Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and prosperity. After puja, fireworks follow, then a family feast including mithai (sweets), and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends. Diwali also marks a major shopping period in nations where it is celebrated. Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji and Pakistan”.
Deepavali was celebrated on 22 October 2014 in Malaysia. We had a wonderful celebration this year. What can I say, other than plenty of food ranging from cookies, traditional dishes, curries, dosa and home cooked food. I took few days off from work so I took the opportunity to help out at home with some chores. Although our family is considered a small family, we had a wonderful time especially with lots of friends visiting us. I have a fair amount of non-Indian friends so they really love to have Indian food at our home during this festive. Deepavali is generally celebrated for about 7-10 days as people will be busy having ‘open houses’. Thats the beauty with Malaysia, we celebrate so many festivals together and its a melting pot of culture.