To all our Hindu readers: A very Happy Diwali

Diwali or Deepaawali means an Array of Lamps i.e. Rows of diyas (Deep = Lamp, Vali =Array). Of all the festivals celebrated by the Hindus, Diwali is by far the most glamorous and important. Enthusiastically enjoyed by people of every religion, its magical and radiant touch creates an atmosphere of joy and festivity. As a family festival, it is celebrated 20 days after Dussehra, on the 13th day of the dark fortnight of the month of Ashwin (October / November). It is a festival of lights symbolizing the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. It celebrates the victory of good over evil – and the glory of light. The festival commemorates Lord Rama’s return to his kingdom Ayodhya after completing his 14-year exile. Homes are decorated, sweets are distributed by everyone and thousands of lamps lit to create a world of fantasy. And above all, Diwali is a time for fun and revelry. Diwali is also a time for pooja and tradition.
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A DAY OF BEGINNING

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by Dr. Gobind Menghwar

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Festivals are not just religious orders for disciples to follow but they pour essence into life. An occasion like a religious festival or a day brings charm and colour into our mundane lives. Such a festival is a day of get-together and of sameness.

Religious days of minorities are not a highlighted point. In the case of a minority community of Pakistan such as Hindu, its kith and kin have invariably very few choices in this regard.

Among all the Hindu religious festivals Diwali (also called Deepawali) is distinguished to be one not only because of its jubilant way of celebration but for its historical background too.

It falls in Kaartik, the eighth month of Hindu calendar every year.
Diwali is the day that marks the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom Ayodhya. Rama was the son of King Dasrath. The king had three queens and three sons from each.

At the two-day event, Diwali`s first day celebrations relate to Rama`s return to the capital and to power as well. Already painted houses are lit with candles and `diyas`; delicious foods and sweets are prepared; fireworks are put on display later in the night, prayers are offered to Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

It is believed among Hindus that on that night she must bestow her blessings upon all. Pooja also continues on the next day, besides meetings with relatives and loved ones.

To Hindus Diwali is a day of beginning. Businessmen consider it as the first day of new fiscal year; to farmers it is time for sowing new crops; fishermen start preparing to go into the deep sea for their livelihood and, above, all Diwali is the best time to tie the knot. Weddings of couples already engaged are arranged immediately after it.

Although Diwali is a minority festival, it is celebrated in the province of Sindh, especially in Thar, where Hindus live in large numbers. It is celebrated by both Hindus and Muslims with similar zeal and joy.

Kunbhar — a Muslim community — makes `diyas` and presents them to their Hindu brothers for lighting their houses on the occasion. Diwali represents religious harmony and social equivalence in those parts of the country.

The writer Dr. Gobind Menghwar lives in Umerkot, District Tharparkar in the Sindh province of Pakistan.

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Source, Title Image, YouTube video
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Published in: on 23/10/2011 at 7:35 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. My name is Arvind V. Gokhale. I am from India. I am a retired journalist, worked in Loksatta, a Marathi daily from Mumbai. I was also an Editor of the Kesari. I visited Pakistan number of times. I read your article in the Dawn today, 21st July 2013. It was wonderful and find it very rich with substance. I read your article on Diwali too. It seems you are from Hyderabad, Sindh. I have many interesting questions to ask. Will you please send me your personal mail id?
    Arvind


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