13 Oct MILLIONS Celebrate It… And Chances Are YOU Never Heard Of It!
MILLIONS Celebrate It… And Chances Are YOU Never Heard Of It! At the end of last month, many around the world celebrated the beginning of the Jewish New Year, marked by Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. And we’re familiar with the Chinese New Year festivities that fall in late January or February. Then, OF COURSE, we pull out all the stops for our traditional December 31st welcome of the New Year…something MANY are eagerly anticipating this year in particular!
Yet, despite the fact that tens of millions of people around the world celebrate it, unless you have a personal connection with someone who DOES, then chances are you have never even heard of Diwali…the Hindu New Year!
If you walk up to someone on the street and ask them if they know what “Diwali” is, the answers might range from an exotic entrée to a type of fabric or even a remote locale. But this five-day festival has been celebrated for millennia, originating in the Indian Subcontinent and has mentions in ancient Sanskrit texts.
Considering how long this tradition has been celebrated, a primer in “Diwali 101” seemed in order, and the fine folks at National Geographic put together the perfect introduction to this “Festival of Lights” (another moniker of Diwali):
*Diwali is an important religious festival that originated in India. And while people often think of Diwali as a Hindu festival, but it is also celebrated by Sikhs and Jains.
*Diwali occurs annually and the exact dates change each year, determined by the position of the moon. However, it usually falls between October and November…with Diwali 2020 falling on Saturday, November 14th.
*The word Diwali (or Deepavali as it’s sometimes called) means “row of lights” in the ancient language of India, Sanskrit. During this festival, people decorate their homes with lights and oil lamps, called diyas.
*For the majority of celebrants, Diwali honors the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. The lights and lamps are said to help Lakshmi find her way into peoples’ homes, bringing prosperity in the year to come!
*It’s also a celebration of good triumphing over evil, and different legends based on this theme are associated with Diwali. In northern India, Hindus celebrate the return of the deities (gods) Rama and Sita to the city of Ayodhya, after defeating the evil King Ravana!
*In the region of Bengal people worship the goddess Kali, the destroyer of evil forces, during Diwali. And in Nepal, people celebrate Lord Krishna’s victory over the wicked King Narakaasura.
*But it’s not just about lights and legends –– Diwali is a time to have fun with friends and family! People exchange gifts and sweets, enjoy delicious feasts, watch firework displays and wear new clothes. It’s a time to clean and decorate your home, too.
*Rangoli is another popular Diwali tradition – creating beautiful patterns using colorful powders and flowers. People draw rangoli on the floor by the entrance of their homes to welcome the gods and bring good luck!
*Today, this fascinating festival is celebrated by thousands of people in countries all around the world. During Diwali, Hindus living outside of India gather at places of worship called mandirs to leave offerings to deities, watch firework displays and eat yummy foods together!
*And, to finish off this list here’s a genuinely unique piece of trivia about Diwali – the city of Leicester, in the UK, holds the largest Diwali celebrations outside of India. Every year, tens of thousands of people gather in the streets to enjoy vibrant shows of light, music and dancing!
Now…a little “behind-scenes-view” of this annual observance, from our BuySparklers vantage point. Not surprisingly, Diwali actually represents our BUSIEST time of year – even beating out the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve and Memorial Day! Orders for our premium Diwali sparklers have already started pouring in, and we haven’t even reached the peak of the season.
So, although you may not be Hindi or among any of the other cultures that traditionally mark Diwali, nothing says you can’t explore this ancient holiday. After the year we’ve ALL had thus far, inviting some luck and good fortune into our lives seems like a good idea! And since we’ve been doing this for years, we have everything you need for your Diwali celebration – whether it’s your first time or a centuries-old family tradition. Just give us a call or drop us an email, and we’ll make sure your Diwali is literally “lit”…who knows, this just MAY be the “reset” button we all need for 2020, even if you ARE just hearing about it for the first time!