First of all, HAPPY DIWALI to all who visit this page!
Now to answer your question. Is this beautiful image below really depicting India’s billion+ divos / deevos (oil lamps) lit during the Diwali festival?
I’m afraid not. It is depicting the progressive growth from 1992 to 2003. The Science Photo Gallery site explains it it more detail.
Asato ma sat gamaya – after all, that’s what this festival is all about right? Continue reading to learn about the significance of all 5 days in this Hindu celebration:
Diwali is the festival of lights, joy, brightness, and happiness. We pray to make our life happier and to enlighten cultural, emotional, and spiritual values in our lives. The uniqueness of this festival is that five separate values from Indian philosophy denoted to five different days.
The five days celebration of Diwali begins with Dhanteras, the day to worship Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. Wealth has many forms: Health, love, family, friends, your unique qualities, power, and also money and other material things. (Oct 24 this year – it’s based on the lunar calendar so it changes annually)
Kali chaudas is the day to worship Kali, Goddess of strength. Strength should be used for positive things, to remove impurity from inside of us and destroy the evil in the world. “Ashakti” is impious strength that is used to harm others. We pray to Kali to give us the power to resist ashakti and make ourselves better. (Oct 25)
Diwali is the festival of lights. A lamp or divo is the symbol of knowledge that leads us from darkness to light. With one divo, we can light many other divos; we can’t do this with a light bulb. By looking at this special quality, we should enlighten ourselves with knowledge and understanding and pass the “light” onto others around us. (Oct 26)
The day after Diwali is the New Year in the Vikram Samvat calendar. It will be the year 2068. It is the time to take accounts of one’s life, to reflect upon life & remove anger, hatred, envy, jealousy from life & have renewed hope for the new year. Begin the new year with a fresh start. (Oct 27)
The final day is Bhai Beej. This day symbolize the society’s respect for all women. This day gives every man the noble outlook to consider every woman as a mother or a sister. The brother goes to the sister’s home on this day and they spend time together. In a festival in August called Raksha Bandhan, the sister this time goes to the brother’s or parents’ home. (Oct 28)
UPDATE on October 27th – See where Indians are celebrating Diwali across the world!
Once again, have a wonderful Diwali and Nutan Vasha Abhinandan (Happy New Year)!