It’s all about Diwali
In Barrie, this past week, it’s been all about Diwali. We’ve just celebrated our 9th Annual Diwali Bash, but the first in 2 years. I can hardly believe that it’s been so long ago that I first correctly learned exactly what Diwali is.
What is Diwali
Diwali, the festival of lights, marks when millions of Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains worldwide celebrate the triumph of good over evil. With beautiful rituals, our city enjoyed festive lights, fireworks, beautiful dancing and sweet delicacies.
There are many variations of the history of the Celebration, but I have learned that whichever story you’ve been taught, it’s always a day of new beginnings and light over darkness.
The word Diwali stems from the Sanskrit word ‘Deepavali, which means ‘rows of lighted lamps. Our Indian neighbours celebrate by decorating their homes with small lamps called Diyas.
India vs Barrie
In India, the streets are decorated with thousands of festive lights and much noise, dancing and fireworks. This is intended to scare away any evil spirits and celebrate the victory of good over evil.
In Barrie, this year, the celebrations were slightly more subdued. However, there were still fabulous times to be had. We have a great Indian Association here that welcomes everyone to share in our city’s cultural diversity and events.
It's New Years
Many consider Diwali to be a fresh start, similar to our New Year celebrations. Many families clean, renovate, decorate and buy beautiful clothing in preparation for the events and the upcoming year.
Diwali is also a time to settle debts and make peace. It’s widespread for people to reconnect with loved ones who may have lost touch and set up family reunions. In past years there have even been exchanges of sweets along disputed Indian borders as gestures of goodwill.
And the Sweets
Talking about sweets, if you’re a sweet lover, then Diwali is the time for you. Friends and families exchange the most exquisite boxes of Indian delicacies, dried fruit and chocolate. I love the abundance of choices at this time of year.
As a five day festival, there is always much planning to do and commitments to be made. Each day has a special meaning, with the most recognized being the third day.
I've got a Secret
If you couldn’t join in the festivities this year because of limited seating – I’ve got a secret for you. I know where some of the very best in Indian food is, along with those irresistible sweets. You may not get to enjoy the cultural dances, music and beautiful garb, but I can promise you that your taste buds will be in heaven.
Written By: Jane Laker
Photo Credit: Stephen Elliott