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Divali is the Hindu (and Sikh) equivalent to Christmas and Hannukah, as it is a festival of lights

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Introduction

Divali What is the meaning of the word "divali"? Divali means "row of lights" or is sometimes interpreted "garland of lights". Divali is the Hindu (and Sikh) equivalent to Christmas and Hannukah, as it is a festival of lights. When is Divali celebrated? Divali (sometimes Diwali or Deepavali) is celebrated at the end of October, beginning of November time. Specifically Divali starts on the thirteenth day of the dark half of the month of Ashwin. The Indian dating system means that months are constructed around the lunar month, which means that each month is exactly twenty-eight days, from one new moon to the next. The second half of the month, known as the "dark half" of the month, is when the moon appears to getting smaller and smaller. As the thirteenth day of the second half hardly any moon is to be seen, the symbolism of Divali, the festival of lights, becomes more apparent, as there is not much natural light at that time of year at night. What is the importance of the goddess Lakshmi at Divali? The importance of the goddess Lakshmi at this time of year is great, as Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity. ...read more.

Middle

These lights are used to decorate the interior and exterior of Hindu homes and are placed in rows, often on windowsills to guide the spirit of Lakshmi into the home. 3. Rangoli patterns are patterns drawn on the ground - most popularly of the lotus flower, on which Lakshmi is often depicted to be sitting on. Rangoli is simply power, often coloured and sometimes very complex and intricate designs are created. How do Hindus celebrate Divali? The main celebration of Divali usually lasts 3 to 5 days, depending on the areas of India where it's being celebrated. Some of the rituals include bathing the image of Lakshmi, usually in milk. This is a cleansing process and a very careful and sacred service as the image is almost treated with the same respect as a human being or a cow normally is. Divali is a very popular festival with Hindu children, as there are many lovely fireworks and colours around, however not as popular as Ganesh Chaturti. Divali could be compared to the Christian festival of Christmas, as presents are exchanged as well as Divali being a time for family togetherness and unity. ...read more.

Conclusion

The colours and various patterns can be enchanting to children, and they may want to relive it and pass it on to future generations, encouraging the spreading of the words of Hinduism. Comparisons between Divali and Christmas * Both are festivals of light for their respective religions. They are both traditionally a time for the family and have many legends and stories surrounding them about the origins, as well as stories within the two festivals (Christmas, the Christmas story and the birth of Jesus Christ, as told in the Bible, and Divali the Ramayana). Decoration is also a large part of both festivals, as the Christmas tree is customary tradition at Christmas, and the diva lamps are the main decoration in divali, as well as the ragoli patterns. Presents are exchanged at both festivals and special foods are eaten in celebration of the occasion. * Divali has more religious morals for more people; unfortunately for many people Christmas is now a time to get presents and sometimes the actual religious significance is forgotten. As well as this, the commercialism of Christmas has had an affect on this, as now it is a time for the greetings cards companies to make money, rather than appreciating the birth of Jesus, over 2000 years ago. ...read more.

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