Diwali is the biggest Hindu festival and people celebrate it all over the world. It is a magical time for children because of the lights. We light candles and lamps, called diyas, in our homes. All the streets, houses and shops are decorated with light. Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word Deepawali which means ‘rows of lights’.
Diwali, the festival of lights, heralds the new Hindu years. According to popular belief it is very auspicious to light up our homes on Diwali as it attracts Lakshmi, the Goddess of good fortune, wealth and prosperity.
On Diwali, pandits also tell the legend of the Hindu god, Lord Rama. He had a beautiful wife, Sita. She was captured by the demon king Ravana. Lord Rama fought Ravana and rescued his wife.
On Diwali, we celebrate Lord Rama’s return with his wife and younger brother to Ayodhya. It signifies that good triumphs over evil. People light lamps to celebrate Lord Rama’s victory.
On the morning of Diwali, I go to the temple with my family. On this occasion, we get dressed in our best clothes. My grandmother always buys me a new sari to wear for Diwali every year.
We spend a long time getting ready, putting on bright clothes and jewellery. Lots of our friends come to the temple and we sing, dance and enjoy ourselves. My cousin plays an Indian instrument called harmonium at the temple.
There are always delicious sweet foods to eat. This starts five days of celebrations, my favourite five days of the year.
Back at my Uncle’s house we exchange presents and eat lots of good Indian food. Many more relatives come over to celebrate with us and it is a very special time for families. If anyone has had an argument it is a good time to make friends and forget the past. Some people say that it is a sort of Christmas for Hindus.
The Asian community is very proud of their celebrations. There is very big crowd with music, dancing and fireworks. Diwali lights are switched on in the streets and we have a big party in the streets on Diwali day
Every year, Diwali falls in October or November. Not only in India, but also in Asian countries, Diwali is celebrated with great joy and happiness.