Deepaval diyas

Deepavali – The Festival of Lights

Deepavali or Diwali is the dazzling festival of lights. ‘Deep’ means ‘light’ and ‘avali’ means ‘a row’. Hence Deepavali means row of lights. It is the biggest festival celebrated by Hindus across the world and especially in India. The great Hindu epic of Ramayana mentions the reason for celebrating Diwali.

Lord Rama, returning after 14 years of exile.
Image by cevena24 from Pixabay

A long time ago, a prince named Ram lived in the kingdom of Ayodhya but the king exiled him for fourteen long years. Ram set out to live in a jungle and was  joined by brother Lakshman and wife Sita in this banishment. They built a hut and were living in the jungle. One day a Sita saw a beautiful golden deer. She insisted on having the deer brought back into the hut. Ram went away to get it and put Lakshman in-charge to guard Sita. When Ram did not return after a long time, Sita ordered Lakshman to go look out for him. Sita’s safety worried Lakshman. To protect her, he drew a magical line outside the hut and asked her not to cross it.

As soon as Lakshman left, a Brahmin came to the hut asking for some food. Unaware of any danger, Sita crossed over the line to hand out some food to the Brahmin. The Brahmin was none other than Ravan, the king of Lanka. He kidnapped Sita and brought her to Lanka against her wishes.

Ram and Lakshman were furious when they found out that Sita was gone. They immediately set out to rescue her. On the way, they met several people including Hanuman and his monkey-faced tribe. They became his army and marched with him to Lanka.

A battle ensued between Ram and Ravan. The war went on for several days and ended when Ram killed Ravan. Sita was finally reunited with her husband, and they returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile.


Deepavali celebrations
Diwali firecrackers, Image by Satheesh Sankaran from Pixabay

The happy people of Ayodhya celebrated the return of their prince Ram. They lit their homes with oil lamps made of clay. People celebrate the day by decorating their homes with fancy lights and oil lamps. They also burst firecrackers.

How did you celebrate your Diwali?

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