Tomorrow - weather permitting - I am off to Trafalgar Square to attend the Diwali celebration. Diwali is the Festival of Lights and signifies the Hindu New Year. Lamps are lit in recognition of the Light of God (by all names) in all of us and how we must light ourselves as well to attract all that is positive.
A Lakshmi puja is celebrated during Diwali to attract the Goddess Lakshmi's favor in bringing health, wealth and prosperity. The most beautiful Diwali I participated in was several years ago and the puja was so uplifting.
Blessings of Diwali and Lakshmi to all - may your lights burn bright!
I found this poetic description of Diwali and thought I would add it:
"The word "Diwali" is the corruption of the Sanskrit word "Deepavali" - Deepa meaning light
and Avali, meaning a row. It means a row of lights and indeed illumination forms its main
attraction. Every home - lowly or mightly - the hut of the poor or the mansion of the rich -
is alit with the orange glow of twinkling diyas-small earthen lamps - to welcome Lakshmi,
Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Multi-coloured Rangoli designs, floral decorations and
fireworks lend picturesness and grandeur to this festival which heralds joy, mirth and
happiness in the ensuring year. This festival is celebrated on a grand scale in almost
all the regions of India and is looked upon mainly as the beginning of New Year. As such
the blessings of Lakshmi, the celestial consort of Lord Vishnu are invoked with prayers.
Even countries like Gkyena, Thailand, Trinidad, Siam and Malaya celebrate this festival
but in their own ways. This Diwali festival, it is surmised dates back to that period
when perhaps history was not written, and in its progress through centuries it lighted
path of thousands to attain the ultimate good and complete ecstasy."
- Malini Bisen, Diwali Festival, India