DIWALI: Light for new beginnings

The month of November has a very special meaning for Indian culture: it is when they celebrate their Diwali festival, a wonderful period of renewal and joy for all, where lighting plays a fundamental role.

It is a festival that occurs once a year and lasts for 5 days, marking the entrance of the Hindu New Year. It is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the fortnight of what they call Kartika and marks a new spiritual path in their lives. Legend has it that Diwali commemorates the return of Prince Rama to his land after defeating the demon king Ravana.

The city dwellers at that time filled the city walls and roofs with lamps so that Rama could easily find his way back home. Hence the origin of the tradition of lighting many lights on this holiday.

During Diwali, tribute is also paid to the goddess Lakshmi for being a symbol of Prosperity and Wealth, and also to Ganesha, being very frequent the placement of altars in preferred places of homes to pay homage to these gods. In these five days of Diwali, Hindus carry out a series of very special activities: they place multiple lights and candles from dusk and throughout the night.

It is a period to clean and redecorate their houses to renew energy and wear new clothes, prepare special dishes and meals, give each other gifts, celebrate games and launch fireworks.

They also tend to wash their heads at sunrise, and in the evening to launch paper boats with lamps in the sacred rivers, with the belief that the further they go the greater the happiness they will bring.

We love the spiritual undertones of the Diwali holiday, where Hindus step into the light of life leaving unhappiness behind for a new year.

At Litti we love Indian culture and its beautiful traditions. Happy Diwali!