GANESHA INDIAN RESTAURANT
DIWALI FESTIVAL HILVERSUM
Since the last 10 years; the Indian population in Hilversum has been coming together to celebrate Diwali and revive the festive feeling, even though they are far from their extended family and friends in India. It brings everyone together; with some cultural activities, Indian dinner and some moments in the evening spent together chatting and reminiscing about what would be happening back home. It gives a feeling that this is our family now and what better occasion to come together and celebrate. As well, the international community families who also reside in Hilversum are welcome to join the occasion and get a close feel of Diwali festivities. With the number of Indian families living in and around Hilversum, having increased in number this is now an annual event for which there is anticipation and preparation far in advance to try and make it a wonderful get together for everyone.
One of the most significant festivals in Indian culture, Diwali, the festival of lights, sees millions attend firework displays, prayers and celebratory events across the world every autumn.
The festival is celebrated for a variety of reasons, although the main theme which runs throughout, is the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.
To celebrate, houses are decorated with candles and colourful lights and huge firework displays are held while families feast and share gifts.
What is Diwali?
Diwali is the five-day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Indians, across the world. The festival, which coincides with the Hindu New Year, celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. The festival usually falls between the middle of October and the middle of November, although this is decided upon by the Hindu lunar calendar. While each faith has its own reason to celebrate the festival, one of the most popular stories told is the legend of Lord Rama and his wife Sita returning to their kingdom in northern India from exile after defeating the demon king Ravanna in the 15th century BC.
How is Diwali celebrated?
The festival is marked by large firework displays, to remember the celebrations which, according to the legend, took place upon Rama’s return as locals set off their own version of fireworks. Those celebrating the festival also light traditional earthen diyas (candles) and decorate their houses with colourful rangoli artworks – patterns created on the floor using coloured rice or powder. During Diwali, families and friends share sweets and gifts and there is also a strong belief in giving food and goods to those in need. It is also traditional for homes to be cleaned and new clothes to be worn at the time of the festival.