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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Diwali Legend ...

For years now I have celebrated Diwali, without really knowing what it signifies. Of course, I did have vague ideas about it - some said that it was the supposed to celebrate Lord Rama's coronation, in Bengal it marked Kali Puja, for some it was also Lakshmi Puja and incidentally, and incidentally, tied to Diwali was also Bhai Dooj (or Bhai Pota in Bengal). Growing up in Kolkata with so many Bengali & Marwari friends, I never bothered to question why this was celebrated. For me, Diwali meant crackers, sweets, new clothes and hordes of fun. Also Diwali for me was a 2-day festival compared to others for whom it was just for 1 day. I used to celebrate Kali Puja the previous day (the day in which South Indians celebrate their Diwali) with my Bengali friends and Diwali the next day with my North Indian friends !

I did a bit of research today and found out that there indeed are various legends that are tied to Diwali - but all of them mention the defeat of the evil or darkness on this day and so, it should be celebrated by lights to signify the triumph. Among the various sites, I found the following sites quite useful :

http://www.diwalimela.com/festivaloflights/ and http://www.amritapuri.org/cultural/bharat/deepavali.htm (this one is a little bit more technical but still quite useful).

Whatever be the legend, just have a BLAST during DIWALI ! Have a great Diwali and may the world be rid of all evil !

Happy Diwali !

Cheers !