Happy Deepavali or Happy Dewali – Updated

Diwali Greetings

“Diwali is the celebration of the Hindu new year which is celebrated all over the world. This piece wishes everyone warm wishes for the Hindu new year and the common new year holiday coming up soon.” Designed by Smita Upadhye from New Zealand.

  1. Posting article Source_Star: Hindus celebrate victory of good over evil By BAVANI M

DEEPAVALI is an auspicious festival celebrated by Hindus all over the world. It is popularly known as the Festival of Lights, because when literally translated, the word Deepavali means ‘rows of lighted lamps.’

To the Tamilians, the festival is a celebration of good over evil and light over darkness. It commemorates the day Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura.

To the Jain community, Deepavali is celebrated as a New Year’s Day. Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, attained Nirvana on Deepavali day.

For the Gujaratis, Deepavali is a five-day celebration starting with Dhanteras — a day for the worship of Goddess Lakshmi. And for the Sikhs, Deepavali is celebrated to mark the return of the sixth Guru to Amritsar in 1620 who was imprisoned by Emperor Jahangir.

This Deepavali, StarMetro interviews four friends of different Indian descent on what Deepavali means to them. These are their stories.

Making memories

For Bavani Kathirailu, 21, Deepavali celebration this year is extra special. Not just for her, but her family as well. The psychology student recently won the Miss Malaysia Indian Global 2010 pageant — so in other words it is a double celebration for her.

As a Tamil Hindu, Bavani will have a lot to do on Deepavali day. “We will get up at 6am and have our oil baths with gingelly oil, after that we will head to the temple for prayers,’’ she said.

In the afternoon, friends and relatives will visit her home in Brickfields, which will be sparkling clean and decorated with a kolam at the entrance with lots of fresh flowers displayed in vases and jars.

A Masala Festival of Lights

Having a Malyalee father and a Telugu mother only made Suleka Suppiah’s Deepavali celebration a truly masala affair.

The 25-year-old public relations consultant said Deepavali in her home has always been a mix of this and that.

“Because my dad celebrates Onam (Harvest Festival) and Vishu (Malayalee New Year) and my mother Ugadi (Telugu New Year) — hence Deepavali in my house is more of a time for the family to come together,’’ Suleka said.

For the Gujaratis, Deepavali is a five-day celebration with the festival of lights falling on the fourth day, depending on the Gujarati calendar. For this year, however, the festival falls on the third day.

“We celebrate for five days starting with Dhanteras, Kali Chaudas, Deepavali, Salmubarak (Gujarati New Year), and finally Bhau Beej,’’ said Preeti Patel.

Preeti, who is of Gujarati descent, explained that Dhanteras means wealth, hence on that day pooja (prayers) are held for the Goddess of Lakshmi and Ganesh. “It’s a good day to buy gold jewellery and silver utensils,’’ she said.

The 22-year-old marketing manager of a yoga and dance studio said Kali Chaudas is celebrated on the second day. It is a day that the Goddess Kali is worshipped after she killed the evil demon Raktavija.

“On this day, the house is cleaned, rangolis are drawn at entrances and the house is prepared for the celebration,’’ she said.

On Deepavali day, Preeti would visit the temple in the morning and the day would be filled with a lot of merriment with friends and loved ones visiting one another. “Deepavali is the last day of the year for the Gujarati calendar and the very next day we celebrate the Gujarati New Year,’’ she said.

In Gujarat, the Festival of Lights represents the start of a new business year so all businesses close their accounts and present them to Lakshmi and Ganesh during prayers.

Bhau Beej falls on the fifth day whereby, historically, it is a day when the sister worships her brother. The brother symbolically stands for Lord Krishna who killed the demon Narakasura to save the world.

“For me it is a day for me to spend some quality time with my brother Shamil — you can say its our bonding time,’’ Preeti said with a smile.

Coming Together

For 27-year-old Dalveen Kaur, there are two important festivals that she celebrates in a grand manner. The first is Visakhi and the second one is Diwali (Deepavali). “Our main celebration has always been Vasakhi which we celebrate grandly for three days,” Dalveen said.

According to Dalveen, Sikhs celebrate Diwali to express joy at the return of the sixth Guru to Amritsar in 1620 after being imprisoned by Emperor Jahangir along with 52 Hindu kings.

However, the director of public relations further explained that Deepavali is more of a ‘coming-together’ session for her family, loved ones and friends.

“On Diwali we visit our friends’ and relatives’ houses and we also partake in the giving and receiving of ‘ang pows.’

Another aspect of the festival that is important to Dalveen is the food. “Without methai or ‘sweets’, Diwali is not complete hence we have to ensure that plenty of sweets are available for guests,’’ she said.

Apart from food, the other important element of the celebration is dancing; well at least for Dalveen and her family. “I love to dance and dancing is a must for my family especially during Diwali,’’ she added.

Dancing sessions are usually held at night after dinner.

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Happy Deepavali or Happy Dewali to all our Indian friends around the world and Malaysia

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