Diwali

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Diwali / Deepavali
The Rangoli of Lights.jpg
Rangoli decorations, made using coloured powder or sand, are popular during Diwali.
Also called Deepavali
Observed by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Newar Buddhists[1]
Type Cultural, seasonal, religious
Celebrations Diya and lighting, home decoration, shopping, fireworks, puja (prayers), gifts, performing religious rituals, feast and sweets
Begins Dhanteras, two days before Diwali
Ends Bhai Dooj, two days after Diwali
Date Varies per Hindu calendar
2018 date 7 November (Wednesday) in North India[2]
6 November (Tuesday) in South India[2] & Singapore[3]
Related to Kali Puja, Galungan, Diwali (Jainism), Bandi Chhor Divas, Tihar, Swanti

Diwali or Deepavali is a Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year in autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in southern hemisphere).[4][5] One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, it spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.[6][7][8] Its celebration includes millions of lights shining on housetops, outside doors and windows, around temples and other buildings in the communities and countries where it is observed.[9] The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over four to six day period. The word Diwali is used by some communities to mean all the festivities while others think of it as one festival night on the no moon day of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. The festival falls between mid-October and mid-November in the Gregorian calendar.[10]

Before Diwali, people clean, renovate, and decorate their homes and offices.[11] For the main Diwali evening, people dress up in new clothes or their best outfits, light up diyas (lamps and candles) inside and outside their home, participate in family puja (prayers) to Lakshmi – the goddess of prosperity, light fireworks,[12] engage in family feasts, sharing mithai (sweets), and exchange of gifts between family members and close friends. Diwali also marks a major shopping period in India, Nepal and for the Indian diaspora elsewhere.[13]

The festival originated in the Indian subcontinent and is mentioned in early Sanskrit texts. The name of festive days, as well as the rituals of Diwali, vary significantly among Hindus, based on the region of India. The celebrations usually fall eighteen days after the Dussehra. In many parts of India, the festivities include Dhanteras or Dhanatrayodashi or equivalent which kicks off home cleaning and floor decorations such as the rangoli.[14] The next day is Naraka Chaturdasi or Choti Diwali (small Diwali) in north India, while for south Indian Hindus it is the main Diwali. The western, central, eastern and northern Indian communities observe the main Diwali on no moon day, the darkest night of the traditional month. The day after Diwali is marked, in some parts of India, with the Goverdhan Puja and Diwali Padva dedicated to the relationship between wife and husband. Some Hindu communities mark the last day as the Bhai Dooj dedicated to the bond between sister and brother, while some Hindu and Sikh craftsmen communities mark this day as Vishwakarma Puja by maintaining their workspace equipment, workshops and offering prayers.[15][16][17]

On the same night that Hindus celebrate Diwali, Jains too celebrate a festival called Diwali to mark the attainment of moksha by Mahavira.[18][19] Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas to mark the release of Guru Hargobind from a Mughal Empire prison,[20] while Newar Buddhists, unlike the majority of Buddhists, celebrate Diwali by worshipping Lakshmi.[21][22] Diwali is an official holiday in Fiji, Guyana, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.[23][24]

Nomenclature and dates[edit]

Diwali celebrations
Deepawali-festival.jpg
Indoor Diya decoration on Naraka Chaturdasi night
Diya necklace Dipavali Diwali November 2013.jpg
Outdoor Diya decoration on Diwali night
Aakash Kandils Diwali lighting Pune India 2013.jpg
Diwali lanterns before Dhanteras in Maharashtra
Glowing Swayambhu (3005358416).jpg
As Tihar in Nepal
Diwali fireworks and lighting celebrations India 2012.jpg
Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas celebrations in Amritsar
Fireworks Diwali Chennai India November 2013 b.jpg
Diwali night fireworks over a city (Chennai)
Sweets Mithai for Diwali and other Festivals of India.jpg
Diwali Mithai (sweets)
Diyas Diwali Decor India.jpg
Diwali lamps
Diwali Pujan at Haridwar.jpg
Indoor Diwali Pujan by North Indian Family
United States Diwali Dance San Antonio 2011 b.jpg
Dance events and fairs
Diwali festivities include a celebration of sights, sounds, arts and flavors. The festivities vary between different regions.[9][25][26]

Diwali (English: /dɪˈwɑːl/)[4] or Divali is from the Sanskrit dīpāvali meaning "row or series of lights".[27][28] The conjugated term is derived from the Sanskrit words dīpa which means "lamp, light, lantern, candle, that which glows, shines, illuminates or knowledge"[29] and āvali which means "a row, range, continuous line, series".[30][31][note 1]

The festival dates extend over five days around the darkest night of the Hindu lunisolar calendar in autumn every year after the summer harvest and marks the new moon, locally called the amāsvasya.[32] This night ends the lunar month of Ashwin and starts the month of Kartika, states Constance Jones – an Indologist with a focus on religious sociology.[33] The darkest night is the main Diwali night, and it typically falls in the second half of October or first half of November in the Gregorian common era calendar.[33] The full Diwali festivities begin two days before on Dhanteras, and lasts two days after the main Diwali night which is the second day of Kartik month's first-fortnight.[34]

The main Diwali is an official holiday in India[35] and Nepal where it is called the Tihar or Swanti festival with similarities to the Indian Diwali as well as its own set of regional rituals.[31][36] Other nations that observe Diwali as an official holiday for their minority Hindu communities include Fiji,[37] Guyana,[38] Malaysia (except Sarawak),[39] Mauritius,[40] Myanmar,[41] Singapore,[42] Sri Lanka, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.[43]

History[edit]

Diwali dates back to ancient times in India, likely evolved as a fusion of many harvest festivals on the Indian subcontinent.[33] The festival is mentioned in Sanskrit texts such as the Padma Purana, the Skanda Purana both completed in second half of 1st millennium AD. The diyas (lamps) are mentioned in Skanda Purana to symbolically represent parts of the sun, describing it as the cosmic giver of light and energy to all life and which seasonally transitions in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik.[25][44][31]

One historical reference links Diwali with the legend of Yama and Nachiketa on Kartika amavasya (Diwali night).[45] The Nachiketa story about right versus wrong, true wealth versus transient wealth, knowledge versus ignorance is recorded in Katha Upanishad composed in 1st millennium BC.[46]

King Harsha in the 7th century Sanskrit play Nagananda mentions Deepavali as Deepapratipadutsava (Deepa = light, pratipada = first day, utsava = festival), where lamps were lit and newly engaged brides and grooms were given gifts.[47][48] Rajasekhara referred to Deepavali as Dipamalika in his 9th century Kavyamimamsa, wherein he mentions the tradition of homes being whitewashed and oil lamps decorating homes, streets and markets in the night.[47]

The Persian traveller and historian Al Biruni, in his 11th century memoir on India, wrote of Deepavali being celebrated by Hindus on New Moon day of the month of Kartika.[49] The Venetian merchant and traveller Niccolò de' Conti visited India in the early 15th-century and wrote in his memoir, "on another of these festivals they fix up within their temples, and on the outside of the roofs, an innumerable number of oil lamps... which are kept burning day and night" and that the families would gather, "clothe themselves in new garments", sing, dance and feast.[50][51] The 16th-century Portuguese traveler Domingo Paes wrote of his visit to the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire, that Dipavali was celebrated in October with householders illuminating their homes and their temples with lighted lamps.[51]

Islamic historians of the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire era mention Diwali and other Hindu festivals. A few, particularly Akbar – the tolerant Mughal emperor, welcomed and participated in festive celebrations.[52] However, the Diwali festival along with other festivals such as Holi were banned at other times, such as by Aurangzeb in 1665.[53][54][note 2][note 3]

Significance[edit]

Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Newar Buddhists[21] to mark different historical events and stories, but they all symbolise the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair.[6][7][56]

Hinduism[edit]

Diwali is celebrated in the honour of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.

The religious significance of Deepavali varies regionally within India, with various deities, traditions, and symbolism associated with the festivities.[6][57][28] These variations, states Constance Jones, may reflect diverse local autumn harvest festivals that fused into one pan-Hindu festival with shared spiritual significance and ritual grammar while continuing local traditions.[10]

One religious significance links it to legends in the Hindu epic Ramayana, linking it with the return of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman to Ayodhya after a long exile where Rama's army of good defeated demon king Ravana's army of evil.[58]

Many Hindus associate the festival with Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity and the wife of Vishnu. The start of the 5-day Diwali festival is stated in some popular contemporary sources, states Pintchman, as the day Goddess Lakshmi was born from the churning of cosmic ocean of milk by the Devas (gods) and the Asuras (demons) – a Vedic legend that is also found in several Puranas such as the Padma Purana; while the night of Diwali is the day Lakshmi chose Vishnu as her husband and they were married.[25][59]

In the eastern regions of India, Hindus associate the festival with goddess Durga or her fierce avatar Kali (Shaktism). The goddess is seen as the symbol of the victory of good over evil.[60][61][62] Elsewhere, such as the Hindus of the Braj region of north India, parts of Assam and the southern Tamil and Telugu communities, the religious significance links Diwali as the day when the good Krishna symbolizing light and knowledge destroyed the evil demon king Narakasura symbolizing darkness and ignorance.[63][64]

Diwali is the major pan-Hindu festival. Along with goddess Lakshmi of the Vaishnavism tradition, Ganesha – the elephant-headed son of Parvati and Shiva of Shaivism tradition – is remembered who symbolizes ethical beginnings and the remover of obstacles.[58] Trade and merchant families and others also offer prayers to Saraswati, who embodies music, literature and learning and Kubera, who symbolizes book-keeping, treasury and wealth management.[25]

In western states such as Gujarat, and certain northern Hindu communities of India, the festival of Diwali signifies the start of a new year.[63]

Sikhism[edit]

Diwali for Sikhs marks the Bandi Chhor Divas. It is remembered as the occasion when Guru Hargobind was freed by the Mughal emperor, Jahangir from the Gwalior Fort prison, and the day he arrived at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.[65] According to J. S. Grewal – a scholar of Sikhism and Sikh history, Diwali in the Sikh tradition is older than the sixth Guru Hargobind legend. Guru Amar Das, the third Guru of the Sikhs, built a well in Goindwal with eighty-four steps and invited Sikhs to bathe in its sacred waters on Baisakhi and Diwali festivals as a form of community bonding. This Sikh tradition, over time, transformed these spring and autumn festivals as the most important community festivals in Sikh history and holy sites such as Amritsar as an annual place for Sikh pilgrim gatherings.[66] The festival of Diwali, states Ray Colledge, has signified three events in Sikh history: the founding of the city of Amritsar in 1577, the release of Guru Hargobind from the Mughal prison, and the day of Bhai Mani Singh martyrdom in 1738 for his failure to pay a fine for trying to celebrate Diwali and thereafter refusing to convert to Islam.[67][68]

Jainism[edit]

Diwali has special significance in Jainism. Mahavira, the last of the Tirthankar of this era, attained Nirvana on this day at Pavapuri on 15 October 527 BCE, on Kartik Krishna Amavasya. According to the Kalpasutra by Acharya Bhadrabahu, 3rd century BC, many gods were present there, illuminating the darkness.[69] Therefore, Jains celebrate Diwali as a day of remembering Mahavira. On Diwali morning, Nirvan Ladoo is offered after praying to Mahavira in all Jain temples all across the world. Gautam Gandhar Swami, the chief disciple of Mahavira achieved omniscience(Kevala Gyan) later the same day.[citation needed]

Buddhism[edit]

The Newar people in Nepal, who are Buddhist and revere various deities in the Vajrayana tradition, celebrate the festival by worshipping Lakshmi.[21][22] The Newar Buddhists in Nepalese valleys celebrate the Diwali festival over five days, in the same way and on the same days as the Hindu Diwali-Tihar festival.[70] According to some scholars, this traditional celebration by Newar Buddhists in Nepal, involving Lakshmi and Vishnu during Diwali, reflects the freedom granted in the Mahayana Buddhism tradition to worship any deity for their worldly betterment.[21]

Description and rituals[edit]

Diwali is one of the popular annual holidays in India and Nepal with significant preparations. People clean their homes and decorate them for the festivities. Diwali is one of the biggest shopping seasons in India and Nepal; people buy new clothes for themselves and their families, as well as gifts, appliances, kitchen utensils, even expensive items such as cars and gold jewellery.[71] People also buy gifts for family members and friends which typically include sweets, dry fruits, and seasonal specialties depending on regional harvest and customs. It is also the period when children hear ancient stories, legends about battles between good and evil or light and darkness from their parents and elders. People go shopping and create rangoli and other creative patterns on floors, near doors and walkways. Youth and adults alike help with lighting and preparing for patakhe (fireworks).[26][72]

There is significant variation in regional practices and rituals. Depending on the region, prayers are offered before one or more deities, with most common being Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and prosperity. On Diwali night, fireworks light up the neighborhood skies. Later, family members and invited friends celebrate the night over food and sweets.[26][72]

The mythical stories told for Diwali vary regionally and within the traditions of Hinduism.[57] Yet, they all point to joy and the celebration of Diwali with lights to be a reminder of the importance of knowledge, self-inquiry, self-improvement, knowing and seeking the good and the right path. It is a metaphor for resisting evil, for dispelling darkness and for compassion to others.[73] Diwali is the celebration of this inner light over spiritual darkness,[74] of knowledge over ignorance and right over wrong.[75][76] It is a festive restatement of the Hindu belief that the good ultimately triumphs over evil.[77]

Celebrations[edit]

Diwali is a five-day festival in many regions of India, with Diwali night centering on the new moon – the darkest night – at the end of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin and the start of the month of Kartika. In the Common Era calendar, Diwali typically falls towards the end of October, or first half of November each year. The darkest night of autumn lit with diyas, candles and lanterns, makes the festival of lights particularly memorable.[10] Diwali is also a festival of sounds and sights with fireworks and rangoli designs; the festival is a major celebration of flavors with feasts and numerous mithai (sweets, desserts),[27] as well as a festival of emotions where Diwali ritually brings family and friends together every year.[26][72]

Rituals and preparations for Diwali begin days or weeks in advance. The festival formally begins two days before the night of Diwali, and ends two days thereafter. Each day has the following rituals and significance:[25][78][79]

Lighting candle and clay lamp in their house and at temples during Diwali night

Dhanteras (Day 1)[edit]

Dhanteras or Dhanatrayodashi (celebrated in Northern and Western part of India) starts off the five day festival. Starting days before and through Dhanteras, houses and business premises are cleaned, renovated and decorated. Women and children decorate entrances with Rangoli – creative colourful floor designs both inside and in the walkways of their homes or offices. Boys and men get busy with external lighting arrangements and completing all renovation work in progress. For some, the day celebrates the churning of cosmic ocean of milk between the forces of good and forces of evil; this day marks the birthday of Lakshmi – the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, and the birthday of Dhanvantari – the God of Health and Healing. On the night of Dhanteras, diyas (lamps) are ritually kept burning all through the nights in honor of Lakshmi and Dhanvantari.[25][59][80]

Dhanteras is also a major shopping day, particularly for gold or silver articles. Merchants, traders and retailers stock up, put articles on sale, and prepare for this day. Lakshmi Puja is performed in the evening. Some people decorate their shops, work place or items symbolizing their source of sustenance and prosperity.[citation needed]

Naraka Chaturdasi (Day 2)[edit]

Narak Chaturdasi is the second day of festivities, and is also called Choti Diwali. The Hindu literature narrates that the asura (demon) Narakasura was killed on this day by Krishna, Satyabhama and Kali. The day is celebrated by early morning religious rituals and festivities. This day is commonly celebrated as Diwali in Tamil Nadu, Goa and Karnataka. Typically, house decoration and colourful floor patterns called rangoli are made on or before Narak Chaturdasi. Special bathing rituals such as a fragrant oil bath are held in some regions, followed by minor pujas. Women decorate their hands with henna designs. Families are also busy preparing homemade sweets for main Diwali.

Lakshmi Puja (Day 3)[edit]

Sweets mithai (dessert) are popular across India for Diwali celebration.

The third day is the main festive day. People wear new clothes or their best outfits as the evening approaches. Then diyas are lit, pujas are offered to Lakshmi, and to one or more additional deities depending on the region of India; typically Ganesha, Saraswati, and Kubera.[25] Lakshmi symbolises wealth and prosperity, and her blessings are invoked for a good year ahead.[81]

Lakshmi is believed to roam the earth on Diwali night. On the evening of Diwali, people open their doors and windows to welcome Lakshmi, and place diya lights on their windowsills and balcony ledges to invite her in. On this day, the mothers who work hard all year, are recognized by the family and she is seen to embody a part of Lakshmi, the good fortune and prosperity of the household.[27] Small earthenware lamps filled with oil are lighted and placed in rows by some Hindus along the parapets of temples and houses. Some set diyas adrift on rivers and streams. Important relationships and friendships are also recognized during the day, by visiting relatives and friends, exchanging gifts and sweets.[7][8][82]

After the puja, people go outside and celebrate by lighting up patakhe (fireworks). The children enjoy sparklers and variety of small fireworks, while adults enjoy playing with ground chakra, Vishnu chakra, flowerpots (anaar), sutli bomb, chocolate bomb, rockets and bigger fireworks.[83] The fireworks signify celebration of Diwali as well a way to chase away evil spirits.[84][85] After fireworks, people head back to a family feast, conversations and mithai (sweets, desserts).[25]

Padwa, Balipratipada (Day 4)[edit]

The day after Diwali, is celebrated as Padwa. This day ritually celebrates the love and mutual devotion between the wife and husband.[25] The husbands give thoughtful gifts, or elaborate ones to respective spouses. In many regions, newly married daughters with their husbands are invited for special meals. Sometimes brothers go and pick up their sisters from their in-laws home for this important day. The day is also a special day for the married couple, in a manner similar to anniversaries elsewhere in the world. The day after Diwali devotees perform Goverdhan puja in honor of Lord Krishna.

Diwali also marks the beginning of new year, in some parts of India, where the Hindu Vikram Samvat calendar is popular. Merchants and shopkeepers close out their old year, and start a new fiscal year with blessings from Lakshmi and other deities.

Bhai Duj, Bhaiya Dooji (Day 5)[edit]

The last day of the festival is called Bhai dooj (Brother's second) or Bhai tika in Nepal, where it is the major day of the festival. It celebrates the sister-brother loving relationship, in a spirit similar to Raksha Bandhan but with different rituals. The day ritually emphasizes the love and lifelong bond between siblings. It is a day when women and girls get together, perform a puja with prayers for the well being of their brothers, then return to a ritual of food-sharing, gift-giving and conversations. In historic times, this was a day in autumn when brothers would travel to meet their sisters, or bring over their sister's family to their village homes to celebrate their sister-brother bond with the bounty of seasonal harvests.[25]

Festival of lights[edit]

The word Diwali means the row(avali) of clay lamps(deepas) which symbolizes the lighting that protect us from spiritual darkness, achieving knowledge from ignorance, love from hatred.[86] They decorate their entire home with oil lamps, earthen lamps, candles, lights throughout the day into the night to prevent darkness and evil. The first thing that strikes our mind is crackers, lightings, colours in the dark new moon night sky.[87]

Customs and traditions[edit]

New Year celebrations[edit]

Melas[edit]

Diwali Rangoli light

To add to the festivals of Diwali, fairs are held throughout India.[88] Melas are found in many towns and villages. A mela generally becomes a market day in the countryside when farmers buy and sell produce, and rural families shop for clothes, utensils and other products. Girls and women dress attractively during the festival. They wear colourful clothing and new jewelry, and their hands are decorated with henna designs.

Regional[edit]

In Kerala, the celebrations are based on the legend of Narakasura Vadha – where Sri Krishna destroyed the demon and the day Narakasura died is celebrated as Deepavali.[89] It commemorates the triumph of good over evil. The story of King Bali is also associated with Diwali by Hindus in Kerala.[90]

Politics[edit]

Diwali celebrations by Tamil Hindus in Sri Lanka

Diwali has increasingly attracted cultural exchanges, occasions for politicians worldwide to greet their Hindu or Indian origin citizens, diplomatic greetints and other socio-political events. The Singapore's government in association with Hindu Endowment Board of Singapore organizes many cultural events during Diwali every year.[91] National and civic leaders such as Prince Charles have attended Diwali celebrations at some of the UK's prominent Hindu temples, such as the Swaminarayan Temple in Neasden, using the occasion to commend the Hindu community's contributions to British life.[92][93] Since 2009, Diwali has been celebrated every year at 10 Downing Street, the residence of the British Prime Minister.[94]

Diwali was first celebrated in the White House by George W. Bush in 2003 and was given official status by the United States Congress in 2007.[95][96] Barack Obama became the first president to personally attend Diwali at the White House in 2009. On the eve of his first visit to India as the president of United States, Obama released an official statement sharing best wishes with "those celebrating Diwali".[97]

At the international border, every year on Diwali, Indian forces approach Pakistani forces and offer traditional Indian sweets on the occasion of Diwali. The Pakistani soldiers anticipating the gesture, return the goodwill with an assortment of Pakistani sweets.[98][note 4]

Related festivals[edit]

The festival in the Hindu culture of Bali that celebrates the victory of good (dharma) over evil (adharma), just like Deepavali, is called Galungan.[102] However, the dates and the ritual grammar are derived from the Balinese calendar and culture.

Economics of Diwali[edit]

Diwali marks a major shopping period in India.[13] In terms of consumer purchases and economic activity, Deepavali is the equivalent of Christmas in the West or Durga Puja in Bengal. It is traditionally a time when households purchase new clothing, home refurbishments, gifts, gold and other large purchases. The festival celebrates Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and investment, spending and purchases are considered auspicious.[103][104] Diwali is a peak buying season for gold and jewelry in India.[105][106] It is also a major sweets, candy and fireworks buying season. At retail level, about US$800 million (INR 5,000 crores) worth of firecrackers are consumed in India over the Diwali season.[107]

Issues[edit]

Air pollution[edit]

According to a study done by Barman et al. in Lucknow India, the amount of fine (PM2.5) particulates in the air can worsen following firework celebrations, but not during it. High accumulations of particulates produced from fireworks can remain suspended in the air for around 24 hours after their use.[108] Another study indicated that ground-level ozone pollution is also generated by fireworks; their dispersal and decay times is also about one day.[109]

The main concern with Diwali has been the excessive amount of crackers being burst, which can lead to serious health issues, including phlegm, lung cancer, asthma amongst many others. A study just before Diwali in 2017 revealed that crackers like Anar, Fuljadi, Chakra etc. are almost 200 times over the WHO standard of PM 2.5 Level. In particular, the Snake Tablet cracker is 2,580 times over the WHO limit.[110] In the immediate aftermath of Diwali, there is always a massive dip in air quality across most of India, especially metropolitan cities like Mumbai and Delhi.[111]

On 9 October 2017, the Supreme Court of India banned the sale of fireworks in Delhi, but not their use.[112] The court acted on the belief that banning festive use of fireworks would substantially improve the air quality of Delhi. (2016 Diwali celebrations saw PM2.5 levels easily exceed 30 times the safe level.) Critics state that this decision was a judicial overreach (as one could purchase their fireworks outside of Delhi instead) and that it is a bias against the Hindu culture, while supporters state it will improve public health.[112] It had a somewhat positive impact, with the air quality in Delhi ranked as "very poor" by the CPCB, an improvement from 2016 when the air quality was ranked "severe".[113]

Burn injuries[edit]

There is an increase in burn injuries from fireworks in India during Diwali. A firework called anar (fountain) has been found to cause 65% of the injuries. Adults are the typical victims. Newspapers advise splashing cold water immediately after the burn, which along with proper nursing of the wound helps reduce complications. Most burns are Group I type burns (minor) requiring outpatient care.[114][115]

Diwali prayers[edit]

The prayers vary widely by region of India. An example vedic prayer from Brhadaranyaka Upanishad celebrating lights is:[116][117][118][119]

Asato ma sat gamaya | (असतो मा सद्गमय ।)
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya | (तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।)
Mṛtyor ma amṛtam gamaya | (मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।)
Om shanti shanti shantihi || (ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥)

Translation:[120][121]

From untruth lead us to Truth.
From darkness lead us to Light.
From death lead us to Immortality.
Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The holiday is known as dipawoli in Assamese: দীপাৱলী, dipaboli or dipali in Bengali: দীপাবলি/দীপালি, divāḷi in Gujarati: દિવાળી, divālī in Hindi: दिवाली, dīpavaḷi in Kannada: ದೀಪಾವಳಿ, Konkani: दिवाळी, Malayalam: ദീപാവലി, Marathi: दिवाळी, dipābali in Odia: ଦିପାବଳୀ, dīvālī in Punjabi: ਦੀਵਾਲੀ, diyārī in Sindhi: दियारी‎, tīpāvaḷi in Tamil: தீபாவளி, and Telugu: దీపావళి, Galungan in Balinese and Swanti in Nepali: स्वन्ति or tihar in Nepali: तिहार and Thudar Parba in Tulu: ತುಡರ್ ಪರ್ಬ.
  2. ^ According to Audrey Truschke, the Sunni Muslim emperor Aurangzeb did limit "public observation" of many religious holidays such as Hindu Diwali and Holi, but also of Shia observance of Muharram and the Persian holiday of Nauruz. According to Truschke, Aurangzeb did so because he found the festivals "distasteful" and also from "concerns with public safety" lurking in the background. However, Truschke disagrees that Aurangzeb banned private practices altogether instead "rescinded taxes previously levied on Hindu festivals" by his Mughal predecessors.[55] According to Stephen Blake, a part of the reason that led Aurangzeb to ban Diwali was the practice of gambling and drunken celebrations.[54]
  3. ^ Some Muslims joined the Hindu community in celebrating Diwali in the Mughal era. Illustrative Islamic records, states Stephen Blake, include those of 16th-century Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi who wrote, "during Diwali.... the ignorant ones amongst Muslims, particularly women, perform the ceremonies... they celebrate it like their own Id and send presents to their daughters and sisters,.... they attach much importance and weight to this season [of Diwali]."[54]
  4. ^ Diwali was not a public holiday in Pakistan from 1947 to 2016. Diwali along with Holi for Hindus, and Easter for Christians, was adopted as public holiday resolution by Pakistan's parliament in 2016, giving the local governments and public institutions the right to declare Holi as a holiday and grant leave for its minority communities, for the first time.[99][100] Diwali celebrations have been relatively rare in contemporary Pakistan, but observed across religious lines, including by Muslims in cities such as Peshawar.[101]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Charles M Townsend, The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199699308, page 440
  2. ^ a b "Holiday calendar". National Portal of India. Retrieved 21 June 2018. 
  3. ^ "Public holidays". Ministry of Manpower, Singapore. Retrieved 21 June 2018. 
  4. ^ a b The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) ISBN 0-19-861263-X – p.540 "Diwali /dɪwɑːli/ (also Divali) noun a Hindu festival with lights...".
  5. ^ Diwali Encyclopædia Britannica (2009)
  6. ^ a b c Vasudha Narayanan; Deborah Heiligman (2008). Celebrate Diwali. National Geographic Society. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-4263-0291-6. , Quote: "All the stories associated with Deepavali, however, speak of the joy connected with the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil".
  7. ^ a b c Diwali – Celebrating the triumph of goodness Hinduism Today (2012);
    Tina K Ramnarine (2013). Musical Performance in the Diaspora. Routledge. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-317-96956-3. , Quote: "Light, in the form of candles and lamps, is a crucial part of Diwali, representing the triumph of light over darkness, goodness over evil and hope for the future."
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