Diwali, What is it?


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Have you ever heard of the Hindu holiday Diwali? If you have, you have probably heard that it is a celebration of good over evil and light over darkness. But according to Mohini Brunn, my aunt, this special festival is more than lighting candles, it is a vibrant five-day festival that is full of tradition. The following is my conversation with my aunt: 

What is Diwali? 

Diwali is the Hindu New Year which is celebrated over the course of five days, and each day you worship a different god. It’s basically a representation of good versus evil and light over darkness. 

What do you do during these five days?

We pray in the morning and at night for about an hour and a half. Once we finish the prayers, we light the diyas, which are these little clay candles. I mean some people even light hundreds now! They go all throughout the house and are left there until they burn out. We light the candles throughout our homes as a way of bringing wisdom and money into our homes. 

What do you eat during Diwali?

We fast for all five days. In Hinduism, fasting is being vegetarian, which means nothing with eggs or meat in it. On the last day of Diwali, we go all out and make all different types of vegetables and rice and make 7 types of curry. For dessert, we have different types of pastries.

Why is the last day of Diwali so important? 

That’s the day when we pray to one goddess, Lakshmi; she’s the representation of wisdom and money in life, which is what we ask for during Diwali. 

Is Diwali different now from when you were growing up?

Yeah. Now they do more activities with the kids; everything is changing and modernizing. It’s different, but it’s still fun for everyone; kids and parents. 

Diwali truly is so much more than a festival of lights. Diwali has fueled the memories of thousands with joy, family, and happiness; a happiness that can only be achieved through years of a delicately planned, carefully practiced tradition. With the new year coming up, I hope you can find light, family, and wealth, even if you do not celebrate the special holiday that is Diwali.