Happy Diwali!

Diwali!! The festival of light, joy, oil lamps and so much fun!
It really is a visual treat to see all houses decorated with lights and streamers of various colors. With paraffin wax candles and oil lamps burning at every doorstep, with people coming out of their houses and wishing each other “Happy Diwali!” and the market place buzzing with crowds eager to buy sweets, crackers, Ganesha & Lakshmi idols, lanterns, jewellery, new clothes and what not! People make rangolis and worship Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi, for prosperity and happiness, on this day.

Colorful lights adorn all houses - what a visual treat!

The rangoli we made. This is the area where we conducted the prayer.

The children are mainly interested in bursting crackers and watching those beautiful fireworks, not to mention their craving for sweets and other delicacies. The whole atmosphere is one to cherish. Meeting friends and family, having a good time together is all a part of this beautiful festival.

Diwali or Deepavali or Dipalika (as it was referred to in ancient times) is being celebrated since – well – ancient times. In fact, the oldest reference to Diwali is a related word, dipalikaya, which occurs in Harivamsha-Purana, written by Acharya Jinasena and composed in the Shaka Samvat era in the year 705.

ततस्तुः लोकः प्रतिवर्षमादरत् प्रसिद्धदीपलिकयात्र भारते |
समुद्यतः पूजयितुं जिनेश्वरं जिनेन्द्र-निर्वाण विभूति-भक्तिभाक् |२० |
tatastuh lokah prativarsham-araat ako
prasiddha-deepalikaya-aatra bharate
samudyatah poojayitum jineshvaram
jinendra-nirvana vibhuti-bhaktibhak

Translation: The gods illuminated Pavanagari by lamps to mark the occasion. Since that time, the people of Bharat celebrate the famous festival of “Dipalika” to worship the Jinendra (i.e. Lord Mahavira) on the occasion of his nirvana.

Dipalikaya roughly translates as “light leaving the body”. Dipalika, which can be roughly translated as “splendiferous light of lamps”, is used interchangeably with the word “Diwali”.

With references from:
WIKIPEDIA

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