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Happy Diwali

Diwali also known as Deepawali or “Festival of lights” is an important festival mostly for Hindus. This ancient festival signifies the victory of good over evil. Diwali goes on for five days. This festival is my favorite because during this festival, I get to wear new clothes, decorate my house and play with all kinds of fireworks. Diwali is the most beautiful festival too because you see fireworks everywhere when you look up in the sky. I would encourage people in our society to turn off all the lights in their houses and look at the fireworks. My parents go out to specially buy fireworks and ignite them at night. In addition, at night I am supposed to light up ‘diyas’ and put them at the balcony of my house. Diyas also known as candles are very beautiful to look at, especially when everyone puts them in patterns. Diwali is the time when my mom makes delicious food that no one else could make in the world.

Diwali is one of the official holidays in India and other countries like Nepal, Singapore and many more. Believe it or not, Diwali is the largest and most famous holiday celebrated in India. The interesting fact about this festival is that this festival doesn’t have a fixed date that you can celebrate it on. Diwali occurs in the second (dark) lunar fortnight of the month of Ashvin and the first (bright) fortnight of Kartika. Aaso is the last month of the Gujarati calendar, and Kartik the first. In short, Diwali was celebrated on 23 October, 2014. Roughly, five hundred million dollars are spent on fireworks by all the families in India.


An assortment of Firecrackers in India during Diwali

This festival goes on for five days. The festival is kicked off with Dhanteras, when you renovate and clean your houses. This day is also a shopping day for my family, when I get a lot of clothes. The second day is Naraka Chaturdasi, when house decorations and colorful floor patterns called ‘rangoli’ are made. I love making rangoli myself.

The third day is the main festive day. This is Diwali when others and I wear their best new outfits and go to puja (prayer). After the puja is the best part, everyone goes outside and celebrates by lighting up the fireworks. This day is also known for the beginning of the New Year in some parts of India. The day after Diwali is Pandwa. Pandwa celebrates the love and mutual respect between the wife and husband. The day is also a special day for the married couple, in a manner similar to anniversaries elsewhere in the world. The last day of the festival is Bhai Dooj. It celebrates the sister-brother loving relationship, in a spirit similar to Raksha Bandhan but with different rituals.

There are many differences between celebrations of India and United States. Let’s start with the celebrations in India. Roughly, five hundred million dollars are spent on fireworks by all the families in India. To add, there is hardly anyone that does not participate in Diwali in some way. In India, there is no rule about fireworks but in America, there is a rule that Illinois allows only sparkles and other novelties. In conclusion,unless there are special circumstances, there are no fireworks I get to see in Illinois on Diwali . I wish this rule could be broken for one day.

– Yug Patel, 14 years old

Yug Patel was born in India and moved to United States in 2012. He is currently a High School freshman at James B Conant in Hoffman Estates, IL. He enjoys the company of his friends. Yug’s favorite sport is Tennis. Yug is crazy about math and has participated in Math Competitions. He dreams of driving an air plane someday. Yug loves to read survival novels such as the Hunger Games series, in addition, to playing video games on his xBox device.

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