Students Celebrate Diwali

Mahee Bhatt (2021-2022), Co Editor-in-Chief

As winter approaches, so do many religious and cultural festivities around the world. A special holiday which was observed on the new moon on Nov. 4 of this year is Diwali, which is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and some Buddhists around the world. Diwali is an annual five-day festival of lights with different rituals and celebrations on each day. Many people celebrate this holiday in various ways around the world. 

“Every year during Diwali my family and I clean our house thoroughly,” said freshman Anjali Kondapalli.

Diwali is considered as a time for new beginnings as it coincides with the Hindu New Year. Many families take this opportunity to clean up as many do during the new year. Also, a popular Hindu belief is that Goddess Laxmi resides in cleanliness so they have a greater chance to receive her blessings maintaining a clean home. Additionally, many decorate their homes with candles and idols to attract and welcome the gods. This is known as a time to “dress for excess” as many buy new bright clothes and lavishly adorn their houses. 

“Each day holds a distinctive meaning and we celebrate them in different ways,” said Kondapalli. 

As this holiday is surrounded by many religious days, there are varying pujas conducted on each day. The first day of the festival is known as “Dhanteras”. “Dhan” translates to “wealth” and “teras” translates to “thirteen” as it is celebrated on the thirteenth day of the auspicious month. This is considered as a prospitious day to make new purchases and perform rituals involving money and wealth. 

The second day is known as “Choti Diwali” when people perform rituals to remove their sins and decorate their homes. The third day is the main celebration of Diwali where the Lakshmi Puja is performed to gain blessings and good fortune. People then gather to celebrate and burst fireworks and exchange gifts. 

The fourth day is “Padwa” which celebrates the love between husband and wife and the last day is known as “Bhai Duj” which celebrates relations between brothers and sisters. Collectively, all five days come together to create a festive and positive atmosphere in the households of those who celebrate. 

“I love this time of the year because it is full of festivities and lights,” said Kondapalli. 

Diwali is celebrated in numerous ways by people across the world. Many also refer to the days with different names. This further displays how this holiday takes diverse beliefs and celebrates them within one holiday. Diwali may be celebrated for varying reasons but ultimately brings people of different backgrounds together with festivities.