Diwali – India’s Festival of lights

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This week marks the start of Diwali (Hindu festival of lights) in honour of the Hindu goddess Laskshmi, celebrating  the victory of good over evil.  
​The festival is held over four days and is one of India’s best known.  What I would give to be in India with a local family celebrating the event this week. 

Houses are scrubed and decorated with beautiful Kolam (patterns) on doorsteps to welcome good spirits.  Families buy new outfits and/or gift them.  Earthenware lamps are lit … the cacophony of firecrackers and the important visit to the temple.   

PictureIndian Sweets

The Frenchies represent a blend of three cultures, French, Australian and Indian and therefore, it is important for us  to ensure that our kids (born and raised in Australia) maintain a link to their cultural roots. Diwali (Deepavali) is one of the celebrations that I try and incorporate where possible into our own family (low key of course), to keep that link alive.   

Australia is fast embracing Diwali celebrations with the growing Indian population and local councils run events in various locations throughout Melbourne to mark the event. 

I love getting my sweets (desserts), spices, nibbles from local Indian speciality shops. (This week though, the shop keeper looked a little puzzled, when I asked for the little earthenware lamps and other Diwali supplies…especially when I revert to my indian-english accent). 

PictureLamps welcome good spirits… (note that this is a statue of Ganesh and should be Lakshmi, but don’t own one..)

​Traditionally the four days have specific celebration requirements, however in in our house-hold we celebrate over one day  – We don’t go to temple, and this year I’ve invited friends over.    

The Frenchies, celebrate with lighting of lamps, ‘spring’ cleaning the house and preparing Indian dishes.  The kids will help with the lighting of the lamps and sparklers and setting up the solar lights in the garden. 

It is times like these, that I wish I had paid more attention when growing up in India. Family celebrations and special festivals make me acutely aware of being so far away from family.  If only my sister-in laws or nieces were around to teach my kids too. (Can’t even obtain a tourist visa for them thank to our rigid government!) 

Travelling to countries during particular Festivals, means you get a glimpse into the country’s culture and see people at their best celebrating what is important to them.  It is such a joy to celebrate events and I particularly love the social aspect in an ever increasing busy life. 
How do you share your cultural heritage or traditions with your kids?  
What is your favourite Festival?

2 thoughts on “Diwali – India’s Festival of lights

  1. Happy Diwali Aurassi! How wonderful that you get to celebrate multicultural festivals. Your children must be all the richer for it.
    We in the South celebrate Deepavali a day before the new moon of the month which actually commemorates the killing of the demon Narakasura! North Indians celebrate Diwali and Lakshmi puja the next evening. The dawn oil baths and morning pujas are all a thing of the past in our family. I do like lighting lamps across my threshold and on my balconies on all five evenings though. The children mainly look forward to the sweets and crackers. They are acutely aware of the environmental damage caused by the latter – way more than we were at their age – and restrict it to a collective community celebration in their building on one of the evenings. We are sadly not going to be spending the holidays together this year, so our celebration is a lot more muted.

    • Hi Madhu,
      Thanks for sharing your Deepavali celebration traditions on the TravellingFrenchies.com blog – I remember the firecrackers driving everyone crazy – but as kids it was fun… good to hear that the environment is considered in your area 🙂

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