Diwali

As you may have often heard, India is a diverse country of many religions and festivals.

Well, did you know, that among this variety of festivals, India also hosts a festival of lights? This festival is called Diwali.

In the ancient Indian epic, The Ramayana, it was described how Lord Rama, the prince of Ayodhya’s wife, the princess Sita, was abducted by the demon king Ravana, while in exile.

the-ramayana
The Ramayana

After Lord Rama built a stone bridge across the ocean, and travelled to Sri Lanka, an island country, where Ravana held Sita captive. Having killed Ravana, Lord Rama rescued Sita, and returned a triumphant heir to the throne of Ayodhya. But the night they returned, even though it was a joyous one, the moon had not risen, and everything was pitch black. Wanting to beautify the city before the arrival of Lord Rama, the people there illuminated the city with small earthen lamps at every door and street. Thus, that auspicious night, Ayodhya shone like never before, and it was decided to celebrate this festival every year.

diyas
Diyas

Even today, Diwali is celebrated with quite a lot of excitement. The most common is bursting crackers, because of what I think that Diwali is probably the festival that harms the environment the most. Goddess Lakshmi, who promises wealth, health, and happiness is worshipped, along with her brother Lord Ganesha. Rangolis, which are designs on the floor with colored powder are also made. Sweets are eaten, and gifts are exchanged. Most importantly, small earthen lamps are decorated and lighted with oil, and these lamps are known as ‘Diyas.’

lakshmi-and-ganesh
Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi
rangoli
A Rangoli

In short, Diwali may be the happiest festival in the country, but it is probably the greatest enemy of the earth.

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