Posted 15 Sep 2011
The Festival of Lights. The very name suggests enchantment, and this event in London is nothing less than absolutely magical. Diwali is another name for this festival of lights, which is the celebration of good over evil, of light over darkness and sunshine over the night. People of all races and religion take part in this lovely event that is held in the heart of London. If you are planning on attending and need a hotel, check out the Jurys Inn range of hotels in London.

Diwali, or Deepavali, is an Indian name for “a row of lamps.” It is a time for renewal, much like the traditional New Year celebrations around the world, and time for commitment, family gatherings and happiness in general. Hindus traditionally observe this holiday for about five days. The first day is called Dhanvantari Trayodasi. It is when the practicing Hindus offer prayers and worship to the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. It is considered a benediction received from God in Hindu culture to reflect on wealth. Day two of the celebration is dedicated to the kind Krishna, therefore the day is titled Narak Chaturdasi, because Krishna is said to have freed 15,000 women from the demon god Narakasura. Day three is entitled Diwali, a celebration that springs from the legend that the people of Ayodha lit their city with earthen lamps to celebrate the return of their king, Rama, after he had defeated a demon god who had captured his wife.

Govardhana Puja is the fourth day, and it is also the Hindu New Year. On this day of the celebration, Hindus offer thanks to cows and present offerings to Krishna. This is done within the form of Govardhana. Bhaiya Duj is the fifth day of the festival, and is meant to celebrate the relationship between a brother and sister.

There are several different ways to celebrate the festival of Diwali outside of these five designated days. For example, both the Sikhs and the Jains practice the festivities for different reasons. The London celebration is held in Trafalgar Square and continues for the five-day period that is traditional among most mainstream Hindus. There is a lot of color, music and great food. It’s a celebration.

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