Diwali celebrated across Saskatchewan with message of light over darkness

Diwali a popular festival for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists is being celebrated on Monday this year as it falls on the new moon day of this month, according to the traditional Indian lunar calendar.

People celebrate around the world by bringing the festive sprit into their homes in the form of earthen lamps called diyas, fireworks, electric lights to decorate the house and exchanging gifts.

“We dress up very nice with new clothes. We go to each other’s house and with sweets and different, you know, we make different delicacies that day,” said Sneha Chakrabarti, staff at the colors of India boutique shop in Saskatoon.

“And it is the festival of, you know, the evil was actually abolished by good deeds.”

Diwali is not just celebrated on the one day but it is preceded by preparations and events leading up to the big day.

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“We start cleaning the house and even at the workplace we do a very deep cleanse. And then we put these little candles and beautiful pots, making patterns with colors on the floor,” Chakrabarti said.

“It gets beautiful and we do it on the entrance just to attract positive energy.”

She added that they burn incense and make sweets, decorate their place of worship with beautiful lights. “It’s it’s I think, to illuminate your life with positive energy. And once you light up that candle. So whatever you are doing in your house, it’s attracting abundance. So Goddess Lakshmi is the symbol of abundance and wealth. So once you light up your house, it’s believed that she comes in your house and then she blesses your house with a lot of abundance. So that’s the reason people light up every corner of their house.

Harnoor Bhangu, who was attending an event at Gurudwara Sahib Regina, said that he feels at home even though he is away from home.

“I think it’s a great feeling like we’ve all come together. It’s just something we have from home and you just feel sort of like, you know, you’re having that interactions with people and you just almost feel like you’re you’re with your family, although I don’t have any a lot of family here,” Bhangu said.

“So it’s awesome to be here and have a community meal with everyone.”

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As Diwali is celebrated by different religions around the planet, it marks a different meaning and has different histories for each faith.

For Hindus, it celebrates the return of Lord Rama from exile or to honour the goddess of wealth. For Jains, it is about the passing of their spiritual leader Mahavira and for the Sikhs it is the liberation of their Guru Hargobind from prison.

The common essence is of light over darkness which runs through all of the celebrations.

It’s about the win of good over evil and, you know, really how good wins at the last,” Bhangu said.

“So it’s always about doing good things and just, you know, obviously making sure that you are in touch with your family, you’re remembering them and then, you know, being thankful for that and just enjoying your time and things.”

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On Monday in Regina people gathered to pray, celebrate, interact and savour traditional food and sweets that are associated with the festival.

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The event at Gurudwara Sahib Regina includes prayers, delicious food, interactions and was attended by community leaders. One of the organizers, Bill Singh, said that this is the biggest day for them.

“I think probably we could run into over 60,000 sangat (people) tonight and it’s going to be amazing,” Singh said.

Singh said that after missing the celebrations over the last two years, he feels happy to see all the people coming out and having a good time.

Click to play video: 'A ‘brighter’ Diwali for Saskatchewan residents'

A ‘brighter’ Diwali for Saskatchewan residents

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