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Feast of Diwali – 12 November 2023


Diwali is called the « Festival of Lights » and is celebrated to honor Rama-chandra, the seventh avatar (incarnation of the god Vishnu). It is believed that on this day Rama returned to his people after 14 years of exile during which he fought and won a battle against the demons and the demon king, Ravana. People lit their houses to celebrate his victory over evil (light over darkness).

The goddess of happiness and good fortune, Lakshmi, also figures into the celebration. It is believed that she roams the Earth on this day and enters the house that is pure, clean, and bright. Diwali celebrations may vary in different communities but its significance and spiritual meaning is generally “the awareness of the inner light”.


Lamps, fireworks and bonfires illuminate this holiday, as the word “Deepawali” means “a row or cluster of lights” or “rows of diyas (clay lamps)”. The festival symbolizes the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. The goddess Lakshmi, who symbolizes wealth, happiness and prosperity, is also worshipped during Diwali.


Source: Text:    Image: BSc Nursing


Feast of Diwali – 24-28 October 2022

Diwali, the festival of lights, is a religious observance commemorated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and some Buddhists around the world.

(A five day celebration), every autumn, the observance sees millions of people attend firework displays, prayer services and festive events in celebration of the occasion.

However, festivities were cancelled last year for many due to the coronavirus pandemic. With restrictions eased this year, some people are planning to hold big gatherings, while others plan to have another quiet celebration.

While Diwali holds significance for a variety of reasons, one of the core themes of the festival, as symbolised by the prevalence lights, is the triumph of good over evil.

Here is everything you need to know about Diwali:

What is Diwali?

Diwali, also known as Deepavali or Dipavali, comes from the Sanksrit word dipavali meaning “row or series of lights”.

Rajnish Kashyap, general secretary and director of Hindu Council UK, explains that the festival, which is one of the most significant for those of the Hindu faith, can trace its origins back to ancient times “when the end of the summer harvest season was celebrated with much pomp and splendour”.

“It signifies the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil and sees millions of lamps lit at homes, temples, shops and public buildings across the world,” Mr Kashyap tells The Independent.

Another main theme of Diwali is the recollection of a story called Ramayan, which details how the Hindu god Rama returned to his kingdom with his wife, Sita, and his brother, Lakchman, after several years of exile.

“To illuminate the path through which they return and in order to guide them home, diyas (clay lamps) are lit everywhere and the world is bathed in golden hues of light,” Mr Kashyap explains.

Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity, is also celebrated in Hindu households during the festival.


Source: Text:   

3rd Sunday of the Year, A

‘Turn on the light,’ – it is an expression that we hear very often. All the more so in this mid-January period when the clouds seem to be ever present and darkness more obvious in the mornings and evenings. The solution is close at hand: we switch on the electric lamps which bring the desired illumination.

But, somehow, we sometimes feel that this kind of illumination is not sufficient. Our eyes may benefit from the additional light, but it seems that something else is missing… light for our minds for our hearts. The very kind that the prophet Isaiah speaks of in the 1st reading of this 3rd Sunday of the Year, A (Is.8:23 – 9:3). He says:

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light;
on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone.”

And with this light, come joy and a sense of liberation also provided by God for his people.

Reading these lines, some may think: “That happened long ago…” And it is true. But has God stopped doing this? I like to believe that he has not and that light, joy and a sense of liberation, are also there, ‘at hand’ so to speak, for us as well. Shadows and darkness need not envelop our days like a dark cloud.

And yet… at times, we feel they do… this dark cloud may take the form of our doubts, our worries and our fears. This is where a ‘great light’ is needed to dispel our inner darkness.

So, perhaps our often-repeated words can become a genuine prayer: ‘Turn on the light… please, Lord, YOUR light!’

Source: Images: Pixabay;