What's with all the colors and lights you ask? It's DIWALI!
Diwali, or Deepavali as some call it, is India's biggest and most important holiday of the year. During this time, clay lamps, candles and lanterns are lit inside and outside of the home to symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness on one of the darkest nights of the year. Diwali is as important to Hindus as Christmas/Easter is to Christians.
Diwali is celebrated in October or November of each year and is meant to mark the last harvest of the year before winter. Many seek the divine blessing of Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, as they believe that she wanders the Earth looking for homes where she will be welcomed. Thus, people leave their doors and windows open as they light the way to their homes via glittering clay lamps, festive fireworks, strings of electric lights, bonfires, etc.
Over the years, Diwali has become a festival that is enjoyed by many regardless of faith.
There are several stories that are also celebrated during Diwali. For instance, in Northern India, Diwali marks King Rama's return to Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana by lighting rows of clay lamps. In Southern Indian, the festival is celebrated as the day that Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura. In Western India, the day symbolizes the day that Lord Vishnu sent the demon King Bali back to the nether world.
The common theme of all these wonderful tales remain the same, that is - good triumphs over evil.
For this year's Diwali festival, I did a small rangoli of Ganesh. My sister and bf also chipped in and did rangolis of their own. We lit a few candles around the house and spent the evening ravishing all the delicious goodies that accompanies the celebrations of Diwali.
From our family to yours, Shubh Diwali. We wish you a prosperous life filled with all the blessings life has to offer :)
Here's to hoping for a wonderful Diwali next year!
Some info re: Diwali origin stories taken from Nat Geo.