"What is Diwali?" I thought as I looked at Yahoo's homepage a year ago. So since I was right there at a search engine I typed it in. I found this:
"Diwali is one the most well-known Indian festivals and is often referred to as the Festival of Lights. The word itself means "rows of lighted clay lamps." It is a five day celebration marked with bright colors, oil lamps, feasts, and sparklers. Diwali occurs on the 15th day of the Hindu month of Kartika (during October/November in the Gregorian calendar, and it begins today for 2009). Homes, courtyards, and rooftops are commonly decorated with small oil lamps (called diyas). Rangoli, a form of colorful sand painting, adorns doorsteps."
And this from wikipedia: "Diwali (or Deepavali) is a major Indian holiday, and a significant festival in Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. Many legends are associated with Diwali. Today it is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs across the globe as the "Festival of Lights," where the lights or lamps signify victory of good over the evil within every human being.
In India, Diwali is now considered to be a national festival, and the aesthetic aspect of the festival is enjoyed by most Indians regardless of faith."
Of course many American have never heard about Diwali.
Has anyone who isn't a Christian wished you a Merry Christmas or Happy Easter? In our office we have many Jewish clients and yet the majority of Christians fail to acknowledge them, they'll continue to refer to the upcoming Holiday Season as Christmas. To me this is just being insensitive of other world religions and beliefs. Why shouldn't we learn about another holidays celebrated in other parts of the world? As I've said in other posts, I want to learn about other religions and take the best of what I learn to help me live a better life.
I will be going to my favorite Indian restaurant tonight, Roti Grill, to have some Chicken Masala and a Samosa! YUM!
So here is wishing everyone a Happy Diwali!