20 November 2020
A large number of NGHS families celebrated Diwali last weekend and we asked students to tell us more about the meaning of Diwali and their family’s celebrations this year.
Please enjoy reading more from Sanisa, Anuva and Swara below.
Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is celebrated over five days. It is the festival of light and is a big event for Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. It is celebrated to celebrate Lord Rama and Sita’s return to their Kingdom after defeating Ravana and serving fourteen years of exile. When Rama and Sita were returning, the citizens of their kingdom, lit diyas (oil lamps) out to guide them back to the kingdom.
Before Diwali starts, we cleaned and decorated our houses with flowers and LED lights. My brother made Aakash Diya (lantern) that people could hand make it or buy from shops. We bought new clothes, Indian sweets and fireworks to celebrate Diwali. Diwali is celebrated over five days and we lit diyas and draw rangoli (colourful patterns) in our door steps on all of these five days. The first day was the 12th of November, Dhanteras which is to celebrate the God of Ayurveda (medicine). This God helps to get rid of sufferings of the disease. The second day was Naraka Chaturdashi, which is to celebrate the demon Narakasura’s death by Lord Krishna. The third day was to celebrate Lakshmi (wealth) Pujan, we pray to Goddess Lakshmi as she is the Goddess of wealth, good fortune, prosperity and auspiciousness. This is the main day and is generally referred as Deepavali. The fourth day was to celebrate Balipratipada, this is to celebrate Lord Vishnu’s victory over Bali. The fifth day was the 16th of November, which is Bhai Dooj, where the sister applies Tika (an auspicious powder) on their brother’s forehead, give them gifts and sweets. In return, the brother gives gifts to their sister.
During Diwali, we also visit our Hindu temples to seek blessings from the God and pray for the wellbeing of all. These are considered as auspicious days for Indian people and they normally celebrate it by distributing gifts and sweets amongst each other. However, this year due to current circumstances, we weren’t able to exchange sweets with our friends. But, fortunately with technology like zoom/whatsapp helped us to be still in touch and celebrate with our families and friends.
Sanisa (Year 8)
Diwali is a Hindu festival celebrated in autumn, it is also known as the festival of lights, which celebrates the triumph of good over evil. People across the world usually celebrate with their loved ones. They light “diyas” (lamps), decorate the house and set off fireworks. Most importantly, they get together with friends and family to pray for happiness and prosperity in the year ahead. However, this year celebrations were somewhat different.
One of the highlights of the festival is celebrating with those you love but this Diwali, this was not possible. Regardless, the festivities continued. New clothes were ordered online, lights were strung on walls, lamps were lit and fireworks exploded from back gardens throughout the night - houses were filled with the same magical atmosphere as they always have been. Despite friends and family not being present, they were not far from our prayers. This year’s Diwali celebrations were unprecedented, but nevertheless they were carried out with unwavering enthusiasm. Although this year has had its difficulties, celebrating this festival is a tradition that will always continue. This Diwali is certainly one to remember!
Anuva & Swara (Year 10)