By: Pooja D. '22 and Kavya D.'27
The word Diwali means a row of lights and so Diwali has come to mean a festival of lights. We light up our home inside and outside with small clay lamps called Diyas and candles.
Diwali celebrations start a couple of days before Diwali day and last a few days after, a total of five days. During these five days we get together and have parties and dinners, and exchange gifts with family and friends. We have a lot of fun!
The first day is called Dhanteras. It is believed that Laxmiji, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity will come on this day and visit the homes that are well lit.
The second day is called Kali Chauvdas, or other names, depending on which part of India you are in or come from. It was a day when the Gods defeated demons – a day of victory of good over evil.
The third day is Diwali day. It is a day when people wear their best clothes or new one, and homes are decorated with flowers and garlands. Homes are lit and families pray to the Goddess Laxmiji. Prayers are said in hope of continuing wealth and happiness. It is also a day to remember when Lord Rama came back home from being away in exile for 14 years. His people lit up the city so that he would not lose his way home that is why we light up our homes.
The fourth day is New Years Day. Most families celebrate the New Year by dressing in new clothes, wearing jewellery and visiting family members to give them sweets, dry fruits and gifts. It is also a day when people go the temple for Annakot and offer the Gods a variety of different fruits, sweets, and savories.
The fifth day is Bhai Bij – a day for brothers and sisters. Brothers visit the sisters in their homes, exchanging gifts as a token of their love for each other.
At STS, one of the transdisciplinary themes used for units of inquiry is, “Who we are,” which allows students to inquire into the nature of self and human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures.” Diwali has become a celebration for the whole school! Teachers and students have dressed up and learned about Diwali! Thank you and have a great Diwali!
Here’s how to say “Happy Diwali” in different languages:
Hindi: “Diwali ki Shubhkamnayein”
Punjabi: “Tuhanu Diwali diyan boht both vadhaiyan”
Tamil: “Deepavali Nalvazhthukal”
Telugu: “Deepavali subhakankhshalu”
Marathi: “Shush Diwali”