Diwali – Festival of Lights

Name: Diya 


“Diwali is the Indian festival of lights celebrated because the Lord Rama returned home, taking 14 days after the defeat of the demon Ravana. The whole town was dark, so they lit up lamps (Diyas!) so that he could find his way home. This is why on Diwali, the festival of lights, we celebrate by using oil lamps and colorful decorations.”


“I heard this from my mom when I was young”

A festival is an event that happens during a specific time/place, and includes rituals to represent a right of passage. One thing to note after research is that Diwali occurs on the darkest night of the month Kartik, or rather the New moon. This year, it will be on Nov 1, 2024. This, I suppose, makes the most sense as the darkest time emphasizes the contrasting light present to carry out an even stronger message of hope, return and safety amongst the unknown. In addition, I researched that Diwali usually celebrates two different Lords – Shiva in the North and Rama in the South. There was one variation that illustrates Lord Rama, his wife and his brother returning from a 14 year long exile. I suppose the 14 is the cognate element that is consistent in these two versions, and is a case of monogenesis where it originated somewhere in India and diffused to different regions that created different variations as a result.