Diwali or Deepavali is one of the festivals that is among the major festivities in the Hindu culture. It is celebrated by the Hindus across the globe. This festival is known as the festival of lights which signifies peace and joy, the victory of good over evil and light over darkness in our everyday lives. It is celebrated among not only the hindus, but also among many other communities and cultures, with a pomp and show. The houses are cleaned, painted, refurbished, and decorated with lamps, lights, diyas, flowers, rangolis, and candles. On the day of the festivities, families come together and perform the Lakshmi puja and to the Goddess of wealth to bless them and all those around them with good health, wealth, and prosperity.
Deepavali is celebrated annually on the 15th day of Kartik month as per the Hindu Lunar Calendar. This year 2021, Diwali is celebrated on the 4th of November. The history of Diwali dates back to the Mahabharata, when Prince of Ayodhya, Lord Rama had returned home with his wife, Mata Sita and his brother Lakshamana on this auspicious day, which is today celebrated as Diwali or Deepavali. The celebrations take place in commemoration of their return from Ayodhya after spending 14 years in exile and their victory over the King of Lanka, Ravana. Hence, it is also one of the many reasons as to why this festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm with the lighting of the lamps and diyas. This tradition of welcoming Lord Rama, his wife Mata Sita along with his brother Lakshamana with the gesture of lighting lamps, is followed until this day. Hence, the name ‘Festival of Lights’.
Deepavali is celebrated in every Hindu household across the nations in their own unique way, but there is one form of celebration that is common among all, which is the bursting of the crackers. It is a tradition that is loved by kids and even adults. However, as we are all aware, the bursting of crackers causes immense air pollution, noise pollution, and also causes toxic health conditions to those who prepare these firecrackers. Not only does it harm human life, but also the life of many animals and other living creatures that coexist with us on this planet. TO keep them safe, everyone is encouraged to burst crackers that do not create sound, and have the least effect on the environment.
Apart from this, there are also many children and unfortunate families who are unable to celebrate this festival like the many of us. Parents who are unable to provide the best for their children, in terms of food, clothing and also the smallest of things, such as a toy gun that is loved by many. The fortunate ones, like us, throw out clothes that are hardly faded, or even if torn slightly in the folding areas such as the armhole, inner seams, etc., or food that is specially prepared for the festivities, thrown in the bin when leftover. These things may not seem too much to us, but would make a huge difference for those who cannot afford that extra grain of rice to make something special and celebrate the occasion. Here are a few things that this Diwali, we can do to not only help our own kind, but also save our environment from extinction:
Revamp, Restore, Gift!
We all own clothes that we didn’t even know we had until we stumbled upon them on a clean day, which happens to be during Diwali season. WHen we clean out our wardrobes, most of the time, we tend to throw them out because they either don’t fit, or they are out of trend. BUt why not mix it up a little bit this Deepavali and restore these clothes, meaning, relieve them from their original purpose, DIY them, and give them to the ones who would value them the most? For example, if a pair of jeans is owned, wherein they were already in the ripped jeans style, but now, they have served their purpose. So instead of throwing them out, why not cut them and create a bag out of it, or even a nice purse. Let’s say, mom owns an old saree that is torn or stained and she’s looking to throw it out, instead why not make a DIY dress out of it, for a baby and gift it. This is a chance for us all to use our creativity, humanity and show love to all the people, and make sure we all get a chance to celebrate the festival equally. Take a few minutes or even an hour to make someone feel happy and loved, as well turn the festivities to a meaningful one.
Being The Light!
We all love to decorate our homes with lighted lamps and diyas. Most of us use the fancy declared diyas, which we purchase newly every year, but what happens to the ones in the previous year? They are either broken or stored up somewhere in the attic until we find them again on a clean day, and throw them away. Instead, why ot keep them safely packed and give them in the coming year to someone who would be thrilled to have them. Not just lamps and diyas, but also the serial lights that we use and tend to throw away when we purchase new ones. These small gestures towards those who would show immense appreciation, will not only light up their homes, but their hearts.
A Few More!
Similar to clothes and decorations, food is also an aspect not many are blessed with, especially with the on-going pandemic. Many of us are so very fortunate to cook not one or two but a range of dishes to celebrate the occasion of Diwali, however, not all are as fortunate as us. So, this Diwali, let us make a plate or two extra for those who sleep hungry everyday, so they will sleep with a full stomach and a smile on their faces.
Diwali is a grand celebration, but what is this celebration if we do not show our humanity, especially during these difficult times. So, this Diwali JD Institute encourages us to be the light in one’s life, and bring alive the creative humanity in us.