Canberra’s Indian community set to celebrate Diwali

Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha. Photo: Sunita Dhindsa.

It’s an exciting time in Canberra as the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted and restrictions are finally easing. It is even more exciting for people of Indian descent around the world as Diwali, one of the most anticipated festivals, is coming soon.

Diwali is celebrated not only in India, but in many countries with a historical connection to India. The festival lights up the earth and the sky, and turns dark nights into day.

Lights, decorations, house cleaning, food, candy, fireworks, rituals, prayers and gifts imbue the excitement of the celebration.

Diwali – or Deepawali or Divali – is celebrated on the 13-14th day of the lunar month of Kartik Masa (October or November) on the darkest night (amavasya). This year Diwali falls on Thursday November 4 and the festival will be held from November 2 to 6.

The Festival of Lights transcends countries and religions, and transforms homes into a glittering and welcoming abode, both for gods and for humans.

Diwali reminds us of the need to strengthen the divinity within us and destroy the forces of evil lurking within us to enable us to follow the path of righteousness.

Spiritually, Diwali is about enlightening our minds and hearts and dispelling ignorance, like the lit diya (a small clay oil lamp), into which we pour the oil of love and light it with the wick. of knowledge and truth.

indian woman holding candles

Anju with lit diya and candles for Diwali. Photo: Sunita Dhindsa.

Awareness and awakening of the inner light helps us understand that life is a continuous journey to truth, knowledge and discovery of our infinite potential.

Diwali has ancient origins in mythology and in the seasonal harvest of the kharif harvest.

The five-day Diwali festival begins with Dhanteras, when the houses are cleaned and decorated.

The second day is Naraka Chaturdashi, Kali Chaudas or Choti Diwali, and is celebrated with morning religious rituals.

The third day is Lakshmi Pooja, the darkest night and the main day of Diwali celebrations when Goddess Lakshmi visits her devotees and bestows them with gifts and blessings of health and wealth. According to mythology, the goddess first visits the cleanest house.

The third day also includes the worship of Mahalakshmi (goddess of wealth and money), Mahasaraswati (goddess of books and learning), Mahakali (goddess of destruction and universal power), Lord Ganesha (Vighneshvara, master and destroyer of obstacles) and Lord Kubera (treasurer of the gods).

Lord Rama, Mother Sita and Lakshman

Lord Rama, Mother Sita and Lakshman. Photo: Sunita Dhindsa.

On the fourth day, some people worship the sacred mountain of Govardhan and others celebrate Balipratipada, which marks the victory of Vamana, the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu over Mahabali and all asura, and the return of Mahabali to earth.

The fifth and last day is celebrated by some like Bhai Dooj, and by others like Vishwakarma Pooja.

With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, Diwali is an opportunity to spread happiness, light and love across the world.

Across Australia there will be many Diwali celebrations by various communities and groups with events of all sizes.

For more insight and joy, join a family of Indian descent to enjoy Diwali celebrations.

No matter how or where Diwali is celebrated, it brings people together and helps spread joy. Using the lamp of love and knowledge, let us lead ourselves from darkness to light (Tamasao ma jyotirgmaya) and help others light the lamp of happiness, prosperity and knowledge.

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