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For many Hindu’s Diwali is like Christmas in November and one of the numerous celebrations in Trinidad. Diwali or Dipavali is a Hindu festival of light. Diwali signifies the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.” Divali is from the Sanskrit dīpāvali, meaning “row or series of lights.”
During my early childhood years in Trinidad, Diwali was one of my special celebrations because of the food. My neighbours were of East Indian origin and always welcoming in sharing food and treats they made. In Trinidad, Hindus don’t eat any meat during the festival. Instead, the focus is on the various vegetarian staples such as roti with channa and potatoes and curried mango.
Foodie Nation TT is an excellent spot to download recipes if you are inspired in making local Trinidadian dishes. However, if you are excited about learning traditional Indian methods, NDTV.com is the place to visit.
What Is Five Days Of Diwali
Day 1: Dhanteras
Dhanteras is the first day of Diwali. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on this day and there is a custom to purchase something precious.
Day 2: Chhoti Diwali/Naraka Chaturdasi
The demon Narakasura was killed by Krishna. It signifies the victory of good over evil & light over darkness
Day 3: Lakshmi Puja
The third day is the main Diwali festival. Goddess Lakshmi is believed to enter homes & bless people with good fortune. Tiny oil diyas, candles, & electric lights are placed around the house.
Day 4: Annakut
Food is arranged in tiers or steps at Hindu temples as an offering to Krishna in the festival of Govardhan Pooja.
Day 5: Bhai Duj
On this auspicious day, sisters pray for good health & happy life for their brothers, & brothers in turn, give them gifts to show their love & affection.
Return of Rama & Sita
For most Hindus, Diwali signifies the arrival of deities, Rama and Sita, to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. To celebrate their arrival, villagers lighted oil lamps that illuminated the path in the darkness. For others, the festival is linked to Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity, and her birth on the first day of the five-day-long event. It also marks the commencement of the fiscal year in India.
Here are a couple of videos if you are interested in learning more about Diwali:
If you are planning on stepping out to that Diwali party this year here are some excellent tips on how to dress for the occasion.
The full list of Trinidad Holidays can be found here.
Featured Image by Mike Labrum on Unsplash
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