Diwali: November 14th

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We didn’t celebrate Diwali when I was young. The first time that I saw people celebrating it was in 1964. It was double-edged, there was the happy, lighting up the dark, side and the scary side. There was a boy whose leg, behind his knee, had been burned by Diwali fireworks and not healed, leaving him walking with a limp. Young people might throw a firework towards someone in malice. I knew a girl whose one plait was cut off in the crowds. It would be used to perform black magic. The hair of a virgin, I suppose.
Placing candles in your windows will light the path of the Goddess Lakshmi, and she will bring you wealth over the next year. Some like to gamble on this night, and if you win you will have good luck all year.
The 6th Guru of the Sikhs was released from prison in Delhi. He had been incarcerated for speaking out against the Muslim government. This is the reason Sikhs celebrate Diwali, but it’s more of a community celebration rather than specifically religious, like Christmas. The inner sanctum of the Golden Temple will be draped in lights. Hindus celebrate the return of Ram from fourteen years of exile. People enjoy the fun of lighting fireworks, eating sweet food and receiving gifts. These used to be clothes. Fine new clothes for Diwali.
I will light candles and use some of my Christmas fairy lights to brighten up my home. We do need some sparkle in this time of Coronavirus when we can’t visit each other.

2 thoughts on “Diwali: November 14th

    1. My parents were in a community that didn’t know about it. They wouldn’t have known the date because it depends on the moon cycle. They didn’t do anything for Christmas until my brother started buying presents. Perhaps they didn’t want to? Or perhaps it’s me misremembering. I remember my brother bringing sparklers in once but that would be for Guy Fawkes.

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