Daily Photos 5th year
- Critiques welcome!
Dear Friends, here's wishing YOU ALL a VERY HAPPY DIWALI! Diwali (or Deepavali) means festival of lights and is the homecoming of Lord Rama after a 14-year exile in the forest and his victory over Ravana. In the great epic Ramayana, the people of Ayodhya (the capital of his kingdom) welcomed Rama by lighting rows (avali) of lamps (deepa), thus its name. Diwali celebrations are often spilled across several days starting with Dhanteras (dhan = wealth; teras = 13).This day falls on the 13th day of the second half of the lunar month. Naraka Chaturdashi falls on the 14th day on which demon Narakasura was killed by Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Since Diwali symbolises the victory of good over evil, many people burn effigies of Ravana and anything they consider evil, almost an Indian representation of the Guy Fawkes tradition.
This is followed by the day of Lakshmi Puja, one where people wish friends and relatives Happy Diwali. Hindu homes worship Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and Ganesh, the God of auspicious beginnings, and then light lamps all across the streets and homes to welcome prosperity and well-being. The next day is the NEW YEAR for those Hindus who follow the lunar calendar. Finally the celebrations end with Bhau Beej, a day when brothers and sisters meet to express their love and affection for each other.