The Festival of Lights


Anisha Zaman, Editor-in-Chief

Bulb lights draped along spiral staircases, dressing up to take family photos that’ll last a lifetime, and boundless joy emanating through the hearts of children all around the world. It’s the best time of the year– not Christmas, but Diwali. 

Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a religious holiday celebrated by Hindus primarily in India, but also all over the world. Div Daga, senior, elaborated that the day the festivities are to start depends on the position of the moon, as Hindus use the lunar calendar. It occurs on the new moon of the last month of the year, ending on the second day of the new year. This year, it was celebrated on Oct. 27. 

“It’s a part of the big Hindu mythology,” Daga said. “It’s the anniversary of the day one of our gods, Ram, killed Ravan, this demon, and his homecoming.” 

Families fill their homes with lamps to represent central themes integral to Diwali, like inner light, knowledge, and goodness. There are also several customs and practices unique to Diwali, such as special prayers, meals, and fireworks. 

“We’ll pray at our own houses or with a few other families and then there’ll be a party with good food and everything,” Daga said. 

Another big theme of Diwali is the renewal of life. Daga added that her mother always takes her shopping, but doesn’t let her wear the clothes until Diwali. The new clothes represent a renewal of life, a fresh start for the new year. 

“It isn’t the exact same everywhere, but a most people exchange gifts, pray, eat good food, and light candles. We also do firecrackers,” Daga said. 

All in all, Diwali is an explosion of culture and tradition that deserves more recognition as a holiday for its unique customs and beliefs. Happy Diwali!