DO NOW What do you know about Diwali? 1. 2. 3. What do you want to know about Diwali? 1. 2. 3.
WHAT IS DIWALI? 1. Diwali is the Hindu "festival of lights" which celebrates the New Year. It is India's most important holiday.. It occurs on the fifteenth day of the Hindu month of Kartika.
WHAT IS DIWALI? 2. It is known as the festival of lights because in celebration people light many small clay lamps called "diyas" around their homes to represent the victory of good over evil.
WHAT IS DIWALI? 3. The lights represent the victory of good over evil and invite good luck and prosperity from the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi and the God Ganesh, who represents good luck, wealth and enlightenment.
WHAT IS DIWALI? 4. Families clean their homes from top to bottom. Traditional families will make an offering to the goddess of fruit, rice pudding, flowers and other assorted gifts. To offer these goods the family performs a puja, which involves saying sacred words and singing. Its also considered very important to refrain from eating meat in honor of the divine spirits being invited into your home. Traditionally every home will set out tiny clay pots with wicks and oil all around their home.
THE MEANING OF DIWALI 5. Diwali celebrates the return of Rama and Sita, in the story from the Ramayana. The story shows how good wins over evil. 6. According to Ramayana, Rama, the prince of Ayodhya was ordered by his father, King Dasharatha, to go away from his country and come back after living in the forest for fourteen years.
THE MEANING OF DIWALI 7. When Ravana, the demon king of Lanka kidnaped Sita and took her away to his island kingdom of Lanka, Rama fought against and killed Ravana. He rescued Sita and returned to Ayodhya after fourteen years. 8. The festival gets its name Deepawali, or Diwali, from the rows (avali) of lamps (deepa) that the people of Ayodhya lit to welcome their King.
THE MEANING OF DIWALI 7. It originated as a harvest festival that marked the last harvest of the year before winter. 8. India was an agricultural society where people would seek the divine blessing of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, as they closed their accounting books and prayed for success at the outset of a new financial year. Today, this practice extends to businesses all over the Indian subcontinent, which mark the day after Diwali as the first day of the new financial year.
HOW LONG DOES DIWALI LAST? Diwali is a Five Day Celebration
DAY 1 9. On the first day at sunset, Hindus should bathe and offer a lighted deeya and jewelry with Prasad (sweets offered at worship time) to Yama Raj, the Lord of Death and pray for protection from early death.
DAY 2 10. Day 2 is a day of fasting for many Hindus, and they do not break their fast until sunset with lapsee, a warm sweet porridge of cracked wheat, clarified butter and sugar. * Fasting is to go without food.
DAY 3 11. On the third day they honor Ganesh the god of wisdom and good luck, the one who removes all obstacles from life. They worship Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and good fortune.
11. DAY 3: LAKSHMI Lights are left burning all night, so that Lakshmi may feel welcomed and enter.
12. ALAKSMI One of the last things done on Diwali is to drive out Alaksmi, or the goddess of bad luck, poverty and misfortune. Traditionally the oldest woman in the family will sweep the house to rid it of bad luck.
13. HOW IS DIWALI CELEBRATED? 1. Go shopping- this is similar to Christmas when people buy gifts and decorate their homes. 2. Clean your home- this is similar to the Chinese New Year when many clean their home to rid it of bad luck. 3. Decorate your home colorfully- this is similar to Halloween or Christmas when people decorate their homes. 4. Burn lamps- this is similar to Christmas when people put lights on and around their homes. 5. Light fireworks- this is similar to our New Years celebration and Fourth of July. 6. Bake sweets and snacks- this is similar to Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter. 7. Wear new clothes- this is similar to Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, or New Years when people will buy a new outfit to celebrate. 8. Gambling- this is similar to the Chinese New Year, when after dinner the family will play cards and dice together. 9. Go vegetarian- this is similar to the Buddhist New Year.
HOW IS DIWALI CELEBRATED? "On Diwali we get up early about 6:30am and put on our best clothes. I wear a sari, my daughters wear shalwar kameez (traditional dress) and my husband also dresses traditionally. The first thing we do is say our prayers and make offerings of fruit and traditional Indian sweets. Then we go to our parents house to bow down to them and receive their blessings. Then we go to the temple. After the temple we visit our family and friends to wish them a 'happy Diwali'. We decorate our homes in bright reds, greens and yellows, and we light as many candles as possible. Diwali is all about filling your home with light and letting go of the gloom and the darkness."
WHY FIREWORKS? The illumination of homes with lights and the skies with firecrackers is an expression of respect to the heavens for the achievement of health, wealth, knowledge, peace and prosperity. According to one belief, the sound of fire- crackers are an indication of the joy of the people living on earth, making the gods aware of their plentiful state.
RANGOLI PATTERNS 14. Rangoli' is a Sanskrit word which means a creative expression of art through the use of color. 15. The main purpose of making rangolis in Diwali is to welcome Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth, to individual homes apart from warding off the evil eye. 16. The patterns are made with fingers using rice powder, crushed lime stone, or colored chalk. They may be topped with grains, thumps, beads, or flowers.
RANGOLI 17. Though making of a Rangoli is highly dependent on the preferences and skills of the maker, lines are always drawn on one finger movement (rangolis are always drawn with fingers) and frequently, the mapping of the rangoli is done with the help of dots, which are joined to form a pattern, and then the pattern is filled with colors. One important point is that the entire pattern must be an unbroken line, with no gaps to be left anywhere, for evil spirits are believed to enter through such gaps, if they find one.