Diwali Greetings – there are so many festivals around the world at this time of year, that one can lose count. In our multi-cultural world we celebrate with every faith and culture – Diwali, Dusshera, Eid, Gurpurab, Hanukkah, Christmas…. And they are all celebrations with lights, lanterns, candles!
Festival dates often change with the lunar calendar but generally, from October onwards there seem to be a frenzy of celebration and remembrance; celebratory lights …..have you noticed the similarity in the celebrations?
Eid al-adha (sacrifice), is a Muslim festival. It is auspicious to slaughter sheep or goats celebrating Abraham’s son being replaced by a sheep, thus escaping sacrifice. This festival often marks the start of cooler weather with celebratory lights, shiny decorations and a big meaty feast.
Navratras (Hindus observe a fast omitting unseasonal foods, fairly similar to Lent ) – A festival of 9 lights, devoted to the Goddess Durga, symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and the start of autumn.
Immediately after the Navratras, Dusshera is celebrated, marking Ram’s (from the north) victory over the demon Ravan (from the south). Effigies of Ravan and his brothers are burnt over most of northern India. Sound like Guy Fawkes – (5th November)? Very similar, the fight of good over evil.
The Buddhist calendar marks the last day of the rains – Pavarana, autumn around the corner.
Halloween, (Candles in pumpkins!) Witches Night 31st Oct (good vs evil ), All Saints Day and All Souls Day – remembrance.
The Hindu New Year, Diwali, is the biggest and most spectacular festival of lights, fireworks and bling, as is Christmas – strings of lights or small earthenware pots (diya’s), illuminate the house, garden, the street, wherever you can decorate often as tasteless as possible! Initially I assume the lights and lanters were to show you the path, now they light up your life! The candles at Diwali are to attract Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, to visit your home and bless it with prosperity.
The Canadian (Oct) and American (Nov) Thanksgiving Feast Days are celebrated at approximately the same time with lots of lights and candles. I thought this marriage (below) of customs was rather lovely!
The Sikhs greatest celebration, Gurpurab, (usually November) marking the birth of Guru Nanak their first Guru who fought for Sikhism predominantly in north India, attempting to unify the Hindus and Muslims into believing that all men are equal – sound familiar?
Advent follows, marking the start of the Christian Year, 4 Sundays before Christmas.
Hanukkah (Chanukah) commemorates the victory over religious persecution in the Holy Land and is also a Festival of Lights.
All these religions have special lights, candles, or candle-stands as in the case of Hanukkah, where the oil for 1 day, burned miraculously for eight days.
I could go on, but you can see where I am heading……! Do you agree? I love candles at every celebration and here are a few that we love ( made by us, of course!).
Tiffinware celebrates with you, with candle holders and votives to make everyday more special!