Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is a much-awaited occasion for Hindus, Jains and Sikhs around the world. It is celebrated to commemorate the triumph of good over evil and the victory of spiritual light over darkness.
Diwali brings families and friends together with grand feasts, firecrackers, exchange of gifts and an all-encompassing atmosphere of love and joy.
Fiji being a multicultural region, houses ethnicities from all over the world. 37.5% of the total population constitutes Indo-Fijians out of which 76% is primarily Hindu. Diwali is celebrated with pomp and grandeur in the diverse country
The Story Behind Diwali
In Hindu tradition, it is believed that Diwali marks the return of Lord Rama with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana and completing 14 years in exile in the forest. The people of Ayodhya celebrated the
return of their beloved prince by lighting up the city of Ayodhya with clay lamps, also known as ‘diyas’.
There are various legends that are associated with the festival of Diwali. The festival holds different meanings for people from different parts of India. Indians remember and worship different Gods and Goddesses during Diwali like Goddess
Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, Lord Ganesha, the God of new beginnings, Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge and Lord Kubera, the God of Wealth among others.
All the stories surrounding the beginning of Diwali may be vastly diverse, however, they all amount to the victory of knowledge over ignorance and good over evil.
How is Diwali Celebrated?
Diwali is a festival that transcends religions and cultures and is enjoyed by one and all. It is a 5-day long event, but celebrations go on for a whole week making it one of the most popular festivals of India.
Day 1: Dhanteras
Dhanteras marks the beginning of the Diwali festivities, and it is believed to be the day intended to increase wealth and prosperity. The exchange of items like gold, silver and cattle take place on this day. Dhanteras is celebrated by
worshipping Goddess Lakshmi in many households and symbolizes the day of cleansing lives and houses off all the negative and impure energy, which is why people engage in extensive cleaning of their houses before the day.
Day 2: Choti Diwali
The second day of the Diwali week is when devotees seek blessings to purify their souls of any greed or negativity. This day of the festival is dedicated to the quest of a prosperous and honest future. Some devotees also take a bath with
oil to mark the cleansing of their souls. Everyone wears new clothes and decorates their houses with a beautiful design called the ‘rangoli’ at their doorstep.
Day 3: Diwali
The actual day of Diwali falls on the third day of the week of celebrations. On this day, people light up their homes and streets with ‘diyas’ and candles and burst firecrackers through the night. The skies light up
just like the lives of people. Devotees worship Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi to seek blessings of immense fortune and riches.
Day 4: Govardhan Puja
The day of Govardhan puja is a powerful observance of the beautiful bond of faith and devotion between the Gods and Devotees. It is a celebration of Mother Nature and is meant to remind people all over the world that we are all dependent
on the nature’s forces and it is our duty to respect and protect it. On this day, people visit each other’s homes to exchange gifts and sweets.
Day 5: Bhai Dooj
The final day of the Diwali week commemorates the heart-warming bond between a brother and a sister. It is like the Indian festival of Raksha Bandhan. Brothers visit their sisters to ensure their happiness and well-being and in turn sisters
prepare sweets and a delicious feast for their brothers and put ‘tilak’ on their foreheads while praying for their long lives.
When is Diwali in 2022?
In 2022, the festivities of Diwali will begin on the 22nd of October and end on the 26th of October. With Dhanteras falling on the 22nd of October, Choti Diwali on the 23rd, Diwali on the 24th, Govardhan Puja on the 25th and Bhai Dooj on the 26th, people all over the world are getting ready to celebrate this auspicious and marvellous festival.