Happy Deewali!

Deewali (also known as Diwali, Deepawali, and Deepavali) is 17 October 2009!

DEEPAVALI or Diwali means “a row of lights”. It falls on the last two days of the dark half of Kartik (October-November). For some it is a three-day festival. It commences with the Dhan-Teras, on the 13th day of the dark half of Kartik, followed the next day by the Narak Chaudas, the 14th day, and by Deepavali proper on the 15th day.

There are various alleged origins attributed to this festival. Some hold that they celebrate the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu. In Bengal the festival is dedicated to the worship of Kali. It also commemorates that blessed day on which the triumphant Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana. On this day also Sri Krishna killed the demon Narakasura.

In South India people take an oil bath in the morning and wear new clothes. They partake of sweetmeats. They light fireworks which are regarded as the effigies of Narakasura who was killed on this day. They greet one another, asking, “Have you had your Ganges bath?” which actually refers to the oil bath that morning as it is regarded as purifying as a bath in the holy Ganges.

Everyone forgets and forgives the wrongs done by others. There is an air of freedom, festivity and friendliness everywhere. This festival brings about unity. It instils charity in the hearts of people. Everyone buys new clothes for the family. Employers, too, purchase new clothes for their employees.

Waking up during the Brahmamuhurta (at 4a.m.) is a great blessing from the standpoint of health, ethical discipline, efficiency in work and spiritual advancement. It is on Deepavali that everyone wakes up early in the morning. The sages who instituted this custom must have cherished the hope that their descendents would realise its benefits and make it a regular habit in their lives.

In a happy mood of great rejoicing village folk move about freely, mixing with one another without any reserve, all enmity being forgotten. People embrace one another with love. Deepavali is a great unifying force. Those with keen inner spiritual ears will clearly hear the voice of the sages, “O Children of God! unite, and love all”. The vibrations produced by the greetings of love which fill the atmosphere are powerful enough to bring about a change of heart in every man and woman in the world. Alas! That heart has considerably hardened, and only a continuous celebration of Deepavali in our homes can rekindle in us the urgent need of turning away from the ruinous path of hatred.

A delightful thanksgiving celebration…I especially note the acts of love/friendliness and forgiveness…the oneness of all the people. We Christians…especially in the Western world/cultures…could surely learn from this example…especially me!

Thanks for sharing and teaching us about another faith culture.

Pax Christi

I know all about this from watching The Office.

“Tonight, one of our most ethnic co-workers, Kelly, has invited us all to a Diwali celebration put on by her community. ‘What is Diwali?’ you may ask. Well, to have Kelly explain it, ‘It’s blah, blah, blah, blah. It’s so super fun, and it’s gonna be great!’ Lot of gods with unpronounceable names. Twenty minutes later, you find out that it is essentially a Hindu Halloween.”

:wink:

Happy Diwali to the Hindus, Sikhs and Jains that are celebrating!

The fireworks just started over here.

What sort of foods and feasts make up a Diwali celebration?

Celebrations -

The Hindus usually awake early in the morning of deepavali around 3am and the first ritual will be having an oil bath, which is an important feature of Deepavali. Hindus will be dressed in their new clothes on Deepavali. Most of the ladies would be clad in silk saris or Punjabi suits of various bright shades. Hindus particularly dislike dressing in black on that day, as they consider black an inauspicious color for the festival. Hindus would also pay their respects to the elderly and most families would go to the temple after having breakfast. This is also an important practice for them. The reason why they would be going to the temples is to pray to get happiness and prosperity on Deepavali. The houses would be decorated with oil lamps and children will play with firecrackers to celebrate the festival. On the first day, they would not go visiting but would stay at home to welcome the guests who visit them.

Food -

Visiting Hindus during Deepavali will be an interesting activity, as you will get to taste a wide variety of delicious food. In every home that you visit you are bound to be served with a tempting spread of sweets. Some of the popular sweets are halwa, burfi and laddu. Hindus love eating spicy food and for non-vegetarians they indulge in favorites like chicken tandoori, prawn sambal and fish head curry. In homes of Hindus who are vegetarians popular dishes like thosais, idlis and naans are prepared.

:thumbsup:

Oh yeah thanks! I got all of that, but I was looking for something specific.

Like what sort of dishes/recipes to they make.

I’m really interested is knowing.

You know like us here in the US at Thanksgiving we eat turkey and mashed potatoes and veggies and stuffing and we have apple pie and pumpkin pie… etc… etc…

A lot depends on wherebouts in India and the religion of the celebrant. For instance your average Gujurati Hindu will not be eating meat howevver your average Punjabi Sikh would (unless they were going to the Gurdwara later that day)

Happy Diwali.

Oh you want recipes?

Food serves an important part in the Diwali celebration. Sweet Dishes are the most popular dishes of diwali. The ladies distribute special Diwali sweets made by them on this occasion to their friends and neighbours. Snacks - both sweet and savoury - are also prepared and eaten in vast quantities Besides, different veg and non-veg dishes are also popular.Although these days people mostly buy them from shops instead of preparing them in home. We have a lot of Diwali recepies of both snacks and Diwali sweets. These mouth-watering preparations are easy to cook also. They are-

Dry Fruit Kheer
This sweet dish is highly popular during the Diwali festival.

Rasmalai
There are various procedures to make rasmalai. This delicious dessert is mainly popular in West Bengal.

Gulab Jamun
It’s a classic and traditional Indian sweet dish.

Kaju barfi
Kaju barfi is one of the tastiest sweet dishes of Diwali.

Cabbage 'N carrot Bhujia
This preparation is also easy to cook and tasty.

Dahi bada
This south Indian dish is highly popular throughout India.

Masala Cashews
This can be an ideal snacks for Dewali evening.

Mini samosa
Mini samosa can be cooked very easily and it’s tasty too.

Chhole bhature
Chhole Bhature is enjoyed at any time of the day.

Sandesh
Sandesh is a typical Bengali dish but appreciated throughout India.

Shahi Pulao
This Mughlai dish can be enjoyed in Diwali lunch or dinner.

Chicken Tikka masala
This mouth-watering dish is also popular as Diwali dish.

Mughlai mutton Korma
This North Indian mutton preparation is popular as side dishes at any occasion.

Pista Lassi
This drink is usually served after meal.

Veg pakodas
This is an easy to cook Diwali snacks.

Thank you so much.

The one that caught my eye was Chicken Tikka masala and I looked it up on the internet.

The recipe is easy and I’m sure it’s tasty. I’ll have to make that for dinner some day.

Again, thank you and enjoy your Diwali holiday.

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