Here at Kingdom Christmas Lights we create some awareness to a our community by educating our people of the Diwalifestival. You may see “Christmas lights” up very early this season (before Halloween) and begin wondering what’s going on. We at Kingdom Christmas Lights are unapologetically Christians and students of the Holy Bible however we feel it’s important to learn cultural practices and beliefs. Considering a small part of our business portfolio comes from Diwali clients, we wanted to share a few facts that you may find useful or informative while residing here in the local Houston Texas area.
Let’s begin by saying Diwali is an annual holiday celebrated in India, Singapore, and several other countries in South Asia. In fact, Diwali there is considered to be one of the most important celebrations of the year! Diwali (also called Divali or Deepavali) is a “festival of lights” that celebrates the triumph of light over dark and good over evil, and the blessings of victory, freedom, and enlightenment. The name comes from Sanksrit dipavali, meaning “row of lights.” On the night of Diwali, celebrants light dozens of candles and clay lamps (calleddiyas), placing them throughout their homes and in the streets to light up the dark night.
Diwali is primarily celebrated by followers of the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain faiths. However the holiday is celebrated throughout India, Singapore, and several other South Asian countries as a national holiday. Diwali occurs annually in autumn (or spring, in the southern hemisphere), during the Hindu month of Kartik. (To put it in Western terms, Kartik begins around mid-October and ends in mid-November.) Specifically, Diwali occurs on the darkest day of the lunar month, which is the day of the new Moon.
Here’s an interesting “Fun Fact” that most Christians don’t know……. How does the moon effect Easter and what is the reason that Easter Sunday changes from year to year? Make sure you call our Kingdom Christmas Lights office to discuss the answer or leave it in the comment section below.
To continue, Diwali takes place on the day of the new Moon, when the sky is at its darkest, so a big part of the celebration involves light. Candles, clay lamps, and oil lanterns are lit and placed throughout the home, in the streets, in areas of worship, and floated on lakes and rivers. Fireworks are also set off on the night of Diwali—said by some to ward off evil spirits. Another central theme of Diwali is family. Wearing their best new clothes, families gather together to eat sweets and other special foods, light diyas, and pray for their ancestors. Businesses are generally closed (or close early) on Diwali to allow workers to celebrate with their families, too.
Diwali in India
In much of India, Diwali consists of five days of celebrations rather than just one.
On the first day, Indians clean their homes and create intricate rangoli—designs made of colored rice, sand, or flowers created on the floor of the home.
A rangoli made of flowers.
The second day is spent preparing or buying special food (especially sweets, called mithai), as well as praying for the spirits of ancestors in the afterlife.
On the third day—the main day of Diwali—families gather and celebrate by lighting lanterns and candles in their homes and in the streets, and by shooting off fireworks! (In southern India, the second day is the main day of celebration, rather the third.)
Traditions of the fourth day vary, but a common theme is the bond between husband and wife, so husbands will often buy their spouses gifts to celebrate.
The fifth day focuses on the bond between siblings, specifically between brother and sister.
Do you celebrate Diwali? What traditions do you follow for the holiday? Let us know in the comments below—and Happy Diwali to those who celebrate from your Christian friends at Kingdom Christmas Lights! If you would like to have your home or business decorated, give us a call at 346-291-4492 or visit us online at kingdomchristmaslights.com to receive your free estimate. Thanks and may God Most High always be glorified!