For those of you who don’t already know, #Diwali is perhaps the most important religious event in the Indian calendar. Its celebrations last over a period of five days, which entail gatherings with family members, meals, fireworks and temple visits.
Typically, people will light small oil lamps made from clay, called ‘diyas’, and place them outside their house as a symbol of light triumphing over darkness. What this tradition also works to achieve, however, is a visit from the Hindu Goddess of wealth. Her name is Lakshimi, and Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains around the world will be anticipating her visit so long as their homes are lit, clean, and decorated.
What fuels these celebrations is the legend of Hindu God, Lord Rama, and his return to the kingdom after 14 years in exile. However, to celebrate this, 45% of the UK’s South Asian community had been hoping to travel abroad to visit family and friends.
As well as this, temples of worship are, of course, closed, so visits and mass prayers will not be able to happen. In the same way, family gatherings and dinner parties are forced to cease during this period, as well.
But, much in the triumphant spirit of COVID, Hindus, Sikhs and Jains have found ways to overcome this. With, I’m sure, many tuning in to see how India still remains optimistic, the festivities started from 08:23 this morning, where devotees have been offering prayers at Hanuman Garhi Temple in Ayodhya. Follow the timeline of events here.
Celebrating via social media has not been only adopted by the public, however, but a technique instated by President Kovind himself, as he greets ‘the fellow citizens living in India and abroad’ on this ‘auspicious occasion’:
‘On the auspicious occasion of #Diwali, I extend my heartiest greetings and best wishes to all the fellow citizens living in India and abroad. May this grand festival of happiness and light bring delight, peace and prosperity to each and every house of our country.’
With thousands taking to social media platforms to celebrate, using zoom for mass prayers and online chats to discuss celebrations, us at Stitcht just wanted to give our support.
We have started a reel explaining this wonderful celebration to our followers, to which we wish to share messages of support to everybody who is celebrating this festival in these strange, uncertain times.
Happy Diwali, everyone!