Diwali comes to Jubilee

Reha Soni in the Upper Sixth explains about Diwali – the festival of lights – and how Jubilee came together to join in the celebrations.

What is Diwali?

Diwali is directly translated as, ‘festival of lights’ and is celebrated by Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist people all across the world. Diwali celebrates the return of the Lord Rama with his wife, Sita and brother Lakshman back into the city of Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. They return after Sita, having bee stolen by the demon King Ravana, is saved by Lord Rama with the help of his monkey army. Legend has it that the good people of Ayodhya lit the entire kingdom with lamps to guide and welcome their king as his return coincided with the darkest night of the Hindu calendar.

How do people celebrate Diwali?

During the celebration, temples, homes, shops and office buildings are brightly illuminated. The preparations, and rituals, for the festival typically last five days, with the climax occurring on the third day. On the this day, people adorn themselves in their finest clothes, illuminate the interior and exterior of their homes with diyas (oil lamps or candles), offer puja (worship) to Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and wealth, light fireworks, and partake in family feasts, where mithai (sweets) and gifts are shared.

Diwali in Jubilee:

This year, we decided that we wanted to celebrate Diwali in House so that people would become more aware about other cultures and have a greater understanding of why different people celebrate different events. This is the first year that we have done this celebration as it was my first year that I did not celebrate Diwali at home. This, however, was an amazing experience as everyone got really involved in all of the events and seemed to enjoy themselves. So much so that the celebrations went on far past the Shells lights out – to their dismay.

A full gallery of Jubilee’s Diwali celebrations is available here.

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