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Deepavali / Diwali 2012

Deepavali and Diwali Celebrations

Deepavali - Diwali

Deepavali / Diwali – November 13th, 2012

Deepavali is known to be the biggest festival in Hinduism. People from countries such as UK, Fiji, USA, Guyana, Canada, India, and other countries host major celebrations during this time. The actual festival continues for 5 days consecutive days, with the third day marked at the main Diwali (Festival of lights).

Everything is beautiful and full of an array of different color fireworks, electric lights and oil lamps that have become part and parcel of the celebrations had by all. In all homes and businesses you will find lit up candles and divas. To close the day, Laxmi Puja would be performed in the evening to gain the blessing of the Goddess of Wealth. Every Deepavali celebration is accompanied by gift giving.

This celebration normally takes places somewhere between the middle of October to November every year. The actual dates depend on the Hindu lunar calendar and is largely based on the moon’s position at the time.

Other Holidays During November 2012 in India

Karaka Chaturthi – 2 Nov 2012

Naraka Chaturdasi – 12 Nov 2012

Govardhan Puja – 14 Nov 2012

Bhai Duj – 15 Nov 2012

Chhat Puja – 19 Nov 2012

Guru Teg Bahadurs Martyrium – 24 Nov 2012

Muharram/Ashura – 25 Nov 2012

Guru Nanak Jayanti – 28 Nov 2012

The History of Deepavali

As a Hindu festival, Deepavali or Diwali, celebrates the homecoming of the great Lord
Rama after he has been in exile for 14 years. It also serves to mark the beginning of the
Hindu New Year which is celebrated with great enthusiasm by many South Asians.

Commonly referred to as the festival of lights, the light of Deepavali resembles
knowledge and wisdom. It marks the kindling of the infinite as well as the Atma in all
believers’ hearts.

This is a time for everyone to reflect on the significance of each of the five days that are
celebrated of which each day resembles something different.

The Five Days of Diwali

The 1st day is commonly known as Dhan Theras. The 2nd day of Deepavali is called
Narak Chaturdasi, which is also the 14th lunar day (Lord Krishna destroyed the demon
Narakasur to make the world free from fear). The 3rd day is the actual day of Diwali
when worship for Mother Lakshmi was performed. The 4th day, Goverdhan Pooja is
performed. Then finally the 5th day which is known as Bhratri Dooj, is dedicated to
sisters.

Celebrations During Deepavali

In summary Diwali celebrates the victory of goodness over evil and of Light over
Darkness, which ushers into the new year. During this event people make a point of
cleaning their houses as well as wear new clothes.

On the first day of the Diwali celebrations the people pray and enjoy a special breakfast
made from a variety of different foods. Later, they would carry the Hindu Goddess
Lakshmi’s statue and other images through the streets.

Dipa lights, also called Ghee Lamps made from clay and fuel using the oil from coconuts,
are placed outside houses, doorways and on floors. Also, during the Deepavali festival,
various torans made from Mango leaves and marigolds are hung on doorways. Hindus,
Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists all enjoy some Deepavali Melas.

During this time it is good to observe the peaceful spirit among the people celebrating it.
Last year, the revival of both the Ekta and the Hindu Society created more opportunities
to bond within LA where many also participated in what was known as the Garba (dance
festival), where they celebrated both Diwali and Holi by dancing together.

Who knows what will all transpire during Diwali 2012 that is only a few months away.
One thing is for sure, everyone, young and old are sure to enjoy the various festivities
that will be taking place during Deepavali 2012.

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