Diwali is Shining Bright at Freedom

How do you celebrate?


Photo by Sadie Porter

Sanjna Rachakonda dressed up to celebrate Diwali.

Sadie Porter, Writer

Diwali, or Deepawali, is a very special holiday celebrated and started in India by Hindus, but other religions and South Asian countries can celebrate as well. Diwali is the celebration of lights, which counteracts the darkness and protects from dark spirits.

Every region in India celebrates Diwali for a different religious reason. For example, in Southern India, they celebrate the defeat of the demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna. But, in Northern India they celebrate King Rama’s return to Ayodhya after the defeat of Ravana. There are so many other reasons to celebrate this holiday, but what everyone has in common is the importance of this festival and the joy it brings.

In senior Sagara Thapa’s Nepali household, they celebrate Tihar which is what they call Diwali.

Thapa explains that it’s, “a five day festival celebrated with family to honor Yama, the god of death, and his sister, Yamuna.”

Just like the traditional celebrations of Diwali, Thapa and her family create a path using rangoli, which is a form of art, to invite Laxmi into their home. Thapa spends hours preparing gift baskets for her brothers, while her family prepares large amounts of food,

“Our large family prepares food such as momos and yomari,” Thapa said.

Momos are a savory dumpling filled with either meat, potato, or vegetables, while yomari is a sweet dumpling. Thapa talked about how she plays card games and sings traditional songs with her family.

Senior Nayana Raut is celebrating this year buy, “painting lamps, lighting fireworks and having a ton of food.”

Raut is taking this holiday as a day to celebrate and spend time with her family. She will be eating traditional dishes like palak paneer and samosa, and desserts like gulab jamun, jalebi and laddu.

On Diwali, Diyas (lights) are lit all around the house and fireworks are set off to ward off evil spirits. The holiday is full of colors, lights, lots of food and so much joy.

Diyas represent enlightenment Diwali is celebrated among so many different households with their own special traditions, but what everyone has in common, is the way it brings everyone together for a night of festivities.