Today members of our community celebrate Diwali, a festival of light and love. Loughborough College lecturer, Gauri Sharma, shares with us why the celebration is important to her and how you can get involved!
What does Diwali celebrate?
The moral of Diwali is that good always triumphs over evil; no matter how tough things get or whatever your situation there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
In the story, Rama and Sita were exiled for 14 years. They defeated a demon and finally came back home, which represents the triumph of light over dark.
How do you celebrate?
We have a big clean of our houses to welcome God into our homes. We light diva’s (candles) everywhere. We also decorate our house with fairy lights. It’s like an Indian Christmas, we give gifts and make delicious foods like samosas. Last year I got married and my family had a big party, we got new outfits. We played games and gifted personalised candles/diva’s to remind us that no matter the darkness, a flicker of light can be all you need.
Anyone can celebrate Diwali, and you can pray but it’s not important if you do- it’s just a time to remember that love, light, and goodness will outlast the dark. People celebrate in different ways. For example; my husband is Gujrati and he also celebrates the next day too- this year it’s on Tuesday- as that is the New Year in the Indian calendar.
How can people who aren't Hindu celebrate Diwali? What would you recommend people try?
It’s not really a religious festival, it’s more cultural. Ultimately about spreading love and light for everyone; people should feel comfortable taking part. It’s a reminder to spend time with family and friends- you don't have to know anything specific you can just come together as one. Places like Loughborough town hall have events with food and dancing; you should definitely see what’s on. Please get involved if you would like to and enjoy the joyous celebration!
Happy Diwali, sending you all love and light.