By: Angela Mao and Renee Mahi

Diwali is one of India’s biggest and most important holidays, as well as one of the major religious festivals in Hinduism. This festival has several variations with all slightly different origins. It is most commonly associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity. Despite all of the different variations, all are linked to

“the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil”.

Hence, it is called the Festival of Lights.

This holiday takes place around late October to early November. People throughout India and Nepal celebrate Diwali by setting off fireworks, indulging in sweet treats, decorating homes as well as pray to the gods. During the celebrations, common decorations are small lamps filled with oil that are lit and placed along houses. The third day, which is is November 7 this year is the main event. This 5-day festival marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year.

Diwali, celebrated by millions around the world, is a wonderful time of feasts, gifts and fireworks with your family.

Personal Significance

I come home and my mom hands me a diya. I light it up with a match and put it on the edge of the windowsill. Incense sticks fill the house with a sweet, warm and fulfilling smell as me and my younger brother put diyas all around the house. When the house is lit my mom calls us down. We stand around a circle of diyas as put our hands together as my dad prays. He thanks God for all that we have been blessed with before wishing for continuous future prosperity. After the prayer we eat LOTS of sweets. In the evening, I get changed into a traditional Indian lengha and we go to my cousins house where we light fireworks - the perfect way to end the festival of light.

As an Indo-Canadian who grew up in Canada, Diwali has always been a celebration I’ve looked forward to. No matter the financial condition my family was in, we always found a way to come together and celebrate on this auspicious occasion.

Diwali, to me, is about celebrating all the good things in life, even the ones that seem insignificant.

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