Diwali, India’s Festival of Lights
Second Secretary, Embassy of India
Well-known as the land of vibrant culture and the land of festivities, the Indian festive season begins in September. Many of the well-known festivals of this country are celebrated during this month and the months that follow, culminating in the observance of one of the most popular festivals in India, Diwali. Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word “deepavali” which means “a row of lights.” These lights are lit during the celebration of Diwali which symbolizes the victory of good versus evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair. These lights are likewise a symbol of the light within that protects each one from spiritual darkness.
Vishwanjali Gaikwad, Second Secretary at the Indian Embassy, invites us into her home on the day of Diwali and tells us more about this Indian celebration. From when and why it's celebrated, as well as its significance and legends behind the holiday. Most importantly, the idea she shares that while Diwali is an Indian festival, the themes of this holiday are common to all our cultures and faiths, is one that holds particular significance, especially in these times.