Wednesday, 10 November 2010

दिवाली मुबारक.

H is for Happy Diwali!

(Huge LOL that the Alphabe-Thursday linky obviously doesn't recognise Hindi :D )

Normally, we have a gap of a week or two between Guy Fawkes night and Diwali, but this year, the two celebrations have fallen on the same day. As a result, the fireworks, which are normally spread out across late October and early November, were all concentrated into one very bright and extremely noisy weekend!


My neighbours are Hindu, so we always have a close up show of their fireworks, set off by Ravi in their back garden. We also often hear a ring on the doorbell accompanied by a gift of samosas (which taste infintely better than the shop bought ones!).

The giving of gifts is one of the many customs which accompany this Hindu festival of light; a celebration based around a story of great courage, when the exiled prince Ram fought Ravana, the ten-headed demon king of Lanka, to rescue his beautiful wife Sita, who had been kidnapped. Helped by Hanuman and his army of monkeys, Ram and his brother Lakshman built a huge causeway over the sea from India to the island of Lanka. There, the two armies engaged in battle, until Ravana was finally killed by a magic arrow fired by Ram from the bow which he alone could bend. Ram and Sita returned to the great city of Ayodhya and the people welcomed them back by placing small lamps in their windows and lighting up the night sky. These lamps are called divas or deepas, from which comes the name of the festival Diwali, or Deepawali.

Today, Hindus light up their homes with divas, coloured lights and fireworks, in the hope that Lakshmi, the goddess of good fortune, will come to visit them at Diwali and bring good luck throughout the new year.


They send each other cards and gifts, buy new clothes, write special prayers in the front of account books, tell the story of Ram and Sita in puppet shows and make rangoli patterns (often out of coloured sand sprinkled on the doorstep).


The children in school made rangoli patterns from seeds and pasta.



And so, as my next door neighbours would say

Diwaali muubaarak
दिवाली मुबारक.

If you aren't too busy celebrating, wander over to Alphabe-Thursday at Miss Jenny's to hook up with other heterogeneous h posts.

22 comments:

  1. Thanks for explaining the Hindu holiday of Diwali, H! I find it interesting to learn about different religion's feasts and holidays.

    Much happiness to your neighbors who are celebrating today!

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  2. Such an interesting, informative 'H' post - as always!

    XOXO Lola:)

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  3. Very interesting post, and great pictures! Thanks for the excellent lesson!

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  4. Excellent fireworks photo~ interesting info on the Hindu festival of light :-)

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  5. So enjoyed this informative Letter H post. Was nice to see the bulletin board of the childrens art work along with the Hindu history. Great lesson!

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  6. Wonderful photos and interesting information -- thanks for sharing!

    Greetings from Germany,
    Birgit

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  7. Love the fireworks! I love the children's artwork too.

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  8. very much like Chinese New Years except with no exciting story that involves ten-headed demon king - Happy Diwali!

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  9. Having Hindu neighbours is a great way to learn about Diwaali! Thank you for sharing. :)

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  10. You clever blogger! That was a great H!

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  11. How fun! I knew nothing about this holiday. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Lakshmi is my favorite goddess.

    Thanks for the edumication. These photos are great. Love the kids' artwork.

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  13. Our neighbors have their house lit up for this, too. It looks so festive!

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  14. I am your newest follower from Jenny Matlock. My middle name is Helper. Please follow me as well. Thank you.

    The Disconnected Writer
    http://thedisconnectedwriter.blogspot.com/

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  15. What an absolutely fascinating stop on my beginning journey through Alphabe-Thursday's letter "H".

    I can see why linky substituted ??? marks...but that writing is really lovely and I'm glad I got to see it on your post.

    This was fascinating. I didn't know anything about this holiday so it was really intriquing to learn about the customs and treats and celebrations.

    Thank you for sharing this Happy post with us!

    A+


    PS. Handmade samosas? YUM!!!!

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  16. Very informative -- I'm embarrassed to say I did not know about this celebration.

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  17. How did I not even know about this holiday? Thanks for enlightening me!

    =)

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  18. Wishing you good fortune and a Happy H Day!

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  19. I have never heard of the Hindu festival Diwaali! Sounds like a good time -- especially the homemade samosas. You wrote on my V-Day post about putting poppy wreaths on veteran's graves. Do you have a pic of this? I know about poppies of course on veteran's day, but wreaths --- no. Joni

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  20. I didn't know a thing about Hinduism, so this was very informative. Now about those samosas? Sounds like something I may have to google and make for myself. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Oh how neat! I love hearing about celebrations in different cultures.

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  22. Thanks for the explanation ... sounds like such and interesting celebration!

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