by Jesse Goodwin, Staff Writer
UMass Dartmouth’s Indian Student Association will welcome visitors and students to its annual event in celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, on Saturday, November 19.
Diwali is perhaps the most significant of Hindu festivals. It is celebrated mostly in India, where it is an official holiday. Around the world, it is observed during autumn in the northern hemisphere, or spring in the southern hemisphere.
The main festival night of Diwali, when it is typically celebrated after five days of rituals and preparations, coincides with the darkest new moon night of the Hindu month of Kartik in the Vikram Samvat calendar.
That night typically falls between mid-October and mid-November on our Gregorian calendar. This year, it fell on October 30.
The annual celebration of Diwali includes firework displays and millions of lights shining on housetops, outside doors and windows, and around homes in the countries where it is observed. Traditional earthen diyas or candles are lit, and the floors of homes are decorated with colorful rangoli artworks, or patterns of colored rice or powder.
Each of these rituals has significance to the legend of Diwali. This differs between the various Hindu faiths, but most Hindus celebrate the legend of Lord Rama and his wife Sita. The couple returned from exile to their kingdom in northern India after defeating Ravana, the demon king of Hindu mythology, in the 15th century B.C.
The lights and fireworks honor the heavens in hope of attaining health, wealth, knowledge, peace and prosperity. They also represent the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. The sound of fireworks represents the joy of people living on Earth.
The event takes place in the Main Auditorium with doors opening at 4:30 p.m. The show is 5-7 p.m. After the event, dinner will be served until 9 p.m. in the campus center.
For more information, contact Anusha Dhulipala at email@example.com.