Festival of Lights
Why Do We Celebrate Deepavali?
Deepavali, otherwise known as the “festival of lights”, marks the triumph of good over evil for Hindus as it commemorates the victory of Lord Krishna, the ruler of Madura over the demon Narakasura, whose evil rule in the kingdom of Pradyoshapuram was much feared by the villagers. Upon Lord Krishna’s return, the city of Madura was in complete darkness as it was the night of a new moon.
Therefore, to celebrate the victory and welcome Lord Krishna, the people lit lamps to pave the way for Lord Krishna, hence Deepavali is also known as the “”festival of lights”. Another legend associated with Deepavali would be the return of Lord Rama from unjust exile by his stepmother after fourteen years and his defeat of the demon king, Ravana. Therefore, Deepavali is also celebrated to honour Lord Rama and to mark his triumph of good over evil. During Deepavali, Hindu homes are decorated with fresh mango leaves and kolams (Indian floor art).
It is also celebrated with the feasting on traditional sweets and snacks, visiting relatives and friends and lighting of oil lamps around the home. The oil lamps placed in the homes are believed to usher in good fortune.
Shedding Light On Deepavali…Diwali
In the triumph of good over evil, Deepavali and Diwali are on the same path. But there are differences between the two
Deepavali, also known as the festival of lights is a Hindu celebration that will be celebrated on Tuesday.
‘Deepavali’ is associated with South India, while the North Indians call it ‘Diwali’. For South Indians, Deepavali falls on Ashvina Krishna Chaturdasi, the lunar day before the new moon. For the North Indians, it falls on Ashvina Amavasya the lunar day of the new moon.
In Singapore, both the North and the South Indians celebrate the festival of light on the same day.
Will Deepavali date be subject to change?
From 2016, Deepavali date won’t be subjected to change.
The Hindu Endowments Board and Hindu Advisory Board have reviewed this process and a clear set of parameters has been defined to establish the date for Deepavali.
In the past, the date for Deepavali was estimated in March or April of the previous year based on the lunisolar calendar, and confirmed against the Hindu Almanac when it was available in the early part of the year.