Celebrating the Festival of Light
The religious festival of Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and by many Buddhists. Celebrants light candles, and set off fireworks signifying the triumph of light over darkness, and good over evil. The celebrations commemorate the homecoming of Ram after 14 years in exile in the forests, and his victory over Ravan. Celebrants mark Diwali with prayers, lighting of divas, fireworks and sharing of sweets and gifts.
In the Sikh community, this day is celebrated as Bandi Choor Diwas. The Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib-Ji, was freed on this day in 1619 from imprisonment in the famous fort of Gwalior by Emperor Jahangir. Guru Sahib negotiated his release, and that of 52 kings and princes, to coincide with Diwali.
To mark Diwali in 2017, our office will again host our Diwali reception on Wednesday October 11, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Vic Johnston Arena.
Our annual Diwali reception is open to all. There is no charge to attend. Please bring non-perishable food items to donate to the Seva Food Bank.
Our western Mississauga residents are invited. Click here. Our community is served by two main Mandirs (temples): the Hindu Heritage Centre, now a Streetsville landmark; and the Ram Mandir, near Hurontario and Derry. Both held celebratory dinners, which I attended. As well, I annually join our Gujarati friends at the awesome BAPS Swami Narayan Mandir, and attend Diwali Parties hosted by senior Hindu friends.
Diwali (or Deepavali, the “festival of lights”) is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn (in the northern hemisphere) every year. Diwali is the biggest and the brightest festival in India. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness. Click here for more background on Diwali.
It is one of the most widely-celebrated festivals on earth, and we ought to have a community reception in our own neighbourhoods. More than 130 people attended our Diwali reception last year at the Vic Johnston Community Center to celebrate Festival of Light. Happy Diwali, or as they say it in Hindi, Shubh Dwali.