Diwali – Festival of India – ATI Vancouver

It’s that time of the year when one of the most awaited and exciting festivals for Indians living all over the world is round the corner. Diwali or Deepavali is a significant religious festival in mainly Hindu religion but is celebrated in Sikhism and Jainism too.

The Hindu religious stories behind Diwali link this festival to Ramayana and Mahabharata both. People first time celebrated this festival by lighting rows of diyas ( lamps) to welcome their favourite prince Sri Ram, his brother Laxman and Sita Devi returning to Ayodhya after the completion of long exile of fourteen years. There’s also a story in Mahabharata that states Diwali was also celebrated as the day of Lord Krishna’s victory over the demon Narakasura.

For the Sikhs, Diwali is a story of the struggle for freedom. Bandi Chhor Diwas. It celebrates the victory of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind, from the designs of Emperor Jahangir, who had imprisoned him and 52 other princes with him, in 1619.

Diwali has a very special significance in Jainism. It marks the anniversary of Nirvana (final release) or liberation of Mahavira’s soul, the twenty fourth and last Jain Tirthankara of present cosmic age.

Hence Diwali is the most significant festival in India and it’s diaspora across the world. This auspicious festival is spread over 5 days: Dhanteras, Narak Chaturdashi or Chhoti Diwali, Diwali or Day of Laxmi Puja, Padwa(New Fiscal year)or Gowardhan Puja, & Bhai Dooj.

Preparations for Diwali begin from weeks before by cleaning the house, making traditional Diwali snacks, collecting Puja items etc. It’s a joyous time to feast on various delicacies, buy and wear new traditional clothes, decorate the whole house with garlands, lights, lamps and rangolis, do religious worships and donations, fireworks, Diwali Parties and………. enjoy all of these with family and friends!!!

Here in Metro Vancouver too the Diwali fever grips most of Indian diaspora and we get excited about shopping sales, exhibitions in various locations, Diwali parties and events. Most attend worship and offerings in the temples, Gurudwaras, and Jain temples all over the Metro Vancouver area. People worship Goddess Laxmi to shower her blessings of wealth on everyone.

Diwali 2022 Events in Vancouver:

  • October 28, 2022 – Bharatiya Kala Evam Sahitya Parishad (BKSP) is organizing Bharat Utsav
  • October 30, 2022Diwali event organized by the Canadian Hindu Foundation in partnership with Manasvini
  • October 30, 2022 – Join the Patel Community Association of British Columbia for Diwali Celebrations

We at ATI Vancouver wish you a very Happy Deepavali and a Prosperous New Year. May you enjoy this joyous festival of lights with your loved ones.

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Sonal Joshi Nagawkar

Sonal Joshi Nagawkar

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