Happy Diwali (dee-waa-li) everyone!
Source: by Ashish Kanitkar – Diwali-Festival
Many of you may have heard of this festival; some refer to it as the “festival of light.” Taken literally, this term just means lighting tons of candles and lighting a bunch of fireworks. But this celebration is the total opposite! The Hindus refer to Diwali as the festival of light in a spiritual sense. The mind and the body need to be constantly reminded of our inner atman (peace). Diwali brings forth an awakening and feeling of oneness to all of its celebrators, thus attaining inner peace.
Diwali, one of the most special and important celebration for the Hindus, is not all about the fireworks and candles, as Western culture often depicts. The fireworks are burst to drive away evil spirits and the candles are lit to signify triumph of good over evil. But there is so much more to this celebration than just that. During this five day, auspicious holiday, families thoroughly clean their homes to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi. Sisters welcome their brothers to their homes and throughout the day the sisters are given gifts and sweets by every brother! How much more lucky can a sister get?
My favorite memories of Diwali in the streets of India was the delicious mouth-watering mithai (sweets, pastries) found in nearly every store! Every day, I would wake up to the smell of hot jalebi and rasmalai. My brothers and I used to light fireworks in the evening with our neighbors while our parents sipped some hot chai, admiring our awe for this celebration.