Celebrate Diwali Today :-)

Goddess Kali the Demon Slayer. Art melts with religion.

Goddess Kali the Demon Slayer. Art melts with religion.

Celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights. This year, it's on Thursday, October 23. Be festive, be merry. Decorate your home, school and work place with lights. Small lights. Big lights. Anything that can lighten up and illuminate. Anything that can make the day bright and full of smiles. And then, celebrate the happy occasion with Indian food. Happy and healthy Indian food. And if you like sweets, have Indian sweets. 🙂
Food, fireworks, and smiles :-)

Food, fireworks, and smiles 🙂

Even though Diwali has a deep connection with Hinduism, and it always falls on the day after the auspicious Kali Puja or the worship of Goddess Kali (the Demon Slayer), Diwali is now a pan-Indian festival, both in India and all over the world, wherever Indians are. And you can find us everywhere: America, Europe, Australia, Brazil, West Indies, New Zealand, Zambia or Zanzibar. And people from all religions celebrate it with much fanfare. In fact, perhaps next to Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Eid, Kwanzaa, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Diwali is a festival that many Americans are aware of. Every time somebody asks me what is the occasion they saw fireworks over the Hudson river next to Brooklyn Bridge, I take the time to explain to them that Diwali — the Festival of Lights — is an autumn festival when people all over India lighten up their houses with small or big lights, and celebrate with fireworks, followed by fabulous food and sumptuous sweets. I then take the time to explain to them that it is a symbol for the victory of the good over evil, or for the more religious, triumph of good karma over bad karma. Then everyone understands, and greets me, saying, “Happy Diwali.” And that makes me happy too. 🙂
Decorating homes with clay lamps

Decorating homes with clay lamps

Let us all celebrate Diwali in its happy, secular, inclusive spirit, inviting everyone in America to be a part of it. Let us observe Diwali this year, and every year, to show our real spirit of inclusion and diversity, and make this colorful, social festival a known event in the American household. If Yoga can be a popular, household practice for today’s America and especially its open-minded, young generation, why can’t Diwali? Both are spiritual. Both are secular and inclusive. Both celebrate life. Both inspire health and happiness. And if you are truly worried about your health and happiness due to the plentiful of Indian food and sweets, we shall make them low-calorie for you. In fact, if you like, we could even make them totally fat-free and sugar-free. 🙂 Happy-Diwali    

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