MANY PEOPLE ASSOCIATE DIWALI, OR THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS, WITH THE HINDU RELIGION; HOWEVER, IT ALSO PLAYS A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN OTHER RELIGIONS, INCLUDING JAINISM AND SIKHISM.
The foundation for the holiday is rooted within old events that helped shape the religions through passed down legends. Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains have molded the tradition into a unique, spiritual celebration. Therefore, it has become an official holiday throughout numerous countries for millions of followers.
There are specific rituals involved when celebrating this joyous occasion. First of all, it occurs over the span of five days, encompassing the darkest night of the Hindu month Kartika. Believers keep the event formal and highly respectful. They accomplish by cleaning and organizing their homes before the main night. On the day, they dress in the best possible outfit, light their homes, and pray to the goddess of prosperity. Afterwards, families and friends dine together, watch fireworks, and exchange gifts.
The happy occasion is utilized to recognize the conquering of evil by good and dark by light. The spiritual purpose is highlighting the inner being of compassion and knowledge, rather than ignorance. Celebrators accomplish this by praying to multiple deities, specifically those relating to prosperity and wisdom. They complete these prayers through various rituals spread throughout the five day holiday, particular to the specific religion.
The Festival of Lights, or more traditionally known as Diwali, is recognized by Jains, Hindus, and Sikhs; however, Sikhs label the event as Bandi Chhor Divas. Everyone follows certain traditions that have been passed down for generations, mainly involving feasting, giving gifts, and illuminating the skies. Though the religious practices are never forgotten either, including deep prayer to their powerful, all-knowing deities, such as Lakshmi.