Global broadcaster CNN has posted some amazing pictures of the Hindu sacred Diwali ‘Festival of Light’ being celebrated in Sri Lanka and neighbouring India.
Diwali—or Deepavali—marks the victory of Light over Darkness; Good over Evil, and every year devotees around the world display lights everywhere while enjoying boundless festival activities.
Central to Diwali is the epic story of Lord Rama returning home with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana after defeating King Raavana. To celebrate his return the villagers lit Diyas or lamps along his path.
That, and the return of the Paandavas after 12 years of exile after losing a game of dice against Duryodhana, and reverence for Lakshmi, Goddess of Weath and Prosperity, is at the heart of the five days of celebrations.
Besides Hindus, many other faiths celebrate different versions of Diwali, including Jains and Sikhs, but all involve decorating their houses, buying new clothes and giving gifts and mementoes.
Best known are the little lamps that are lit in houses and streets, and the Kolam/Rangoli, a colourful pattern drawn on the house floor or in the doorway using coloured rice flour.
Fireworks, festivals, gatherings and parties abound, while favourite gifts are glassware and home appliances—which might explain the multitude of home-appliance ads on TV this time of the year!