Deepãvali or Diwali, is called the “Festival of Lights” since many lamps and fireworks illuminate the darkness of the New Moon occurring during October – November. Deepa in Sanskrit means “light” and Ãvali means “row” and so, Deepãvali means “a row of lights”. These lights are usually festively decorated earthen / clay lamps lit with oil and wick. This is one of the few festivals observed by all Hindus, Sikhs and Jains not only throughout India, but all over the world, thereby making this a truly unifying festival.
This festival marks the observance of various events depicting victory of good over evil, some of which are: The day on which Lord Rãma (one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu) returned to Ayodhya after defeating the evil demon Rãvana who had kidnapped His wife Sita, and also the day on which Lord Krishna (another incarnation of Lord Vishnu) killed the demon Narakãsura who was tormenting those around him. Deepãvali is also celebrated to welcome Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth (and all that we value in life) into our homes. For some, it is the beginning of a New Year.
The significance of this festival is that we should strive to remove the darkness of ignorance (and hatred) from our heart, and fill it instead with the light of knowledge (and love). Deepavali is a celebration of Universal Values: a) appreciating all the different types of wealth we have in life, b) developing mental strength to get rid of our evil tendencies and be a better person, c) celebrating the triumph of good over evil, and e) building on existing relationships and forming new friendships.
This is reflected in the most common ways Deepãvali is celebrated: Wearing new clothes, distributing sweets and gifts to everyone and bursting firecrackers as an expression of joy. At night, homes are decorated with rows of earthen lights. On the face of it, these lights brings cheer to the atmosphere; but the subtle significance of these lights is the triumph of good over evil, and the removal of the darkness of ignorance by the light of knowledge that all of us are children of ONE GOD, who protects and loves us always.
Schedule & Location of Events
1-2:30pm: Temple Youth Diwali Art Exhibition, 2nd Floor, 2nd Floor Werwaiss Gallery
1-2:30pm: Hands-on Diya (clay lamp) painting workshop for children, 2nd Floor Werwaiss Gallery
1:30-2:30pm: QM Educators lead a rangoli drop-in workshop for children 5-12 years old, 2nd Floor Unisphere Gallery
2:30-430pm: Join us in the Main Atrium for Cultural Show, Community Garba & Dandiya folk dances of Gujarat, and Lighting of 3000 candles. All are invited to participate, no experience necessary.
For Further Information Please Contact The Hindu Temple in Flushing at (718) 460-8484 ext 112 Mala Balakumar: (516) 658-4724, Mrs. Indira Narasimharajan (718) 631-0725, or Radhika Mohan (646) 420-6216 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE HINDU TEMPLE SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA
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