Diwali is upon us once again here in Delhi.
The five-day “Festival of Lights”, as it’s otherwise known, is the most important holiday of the year for many Hindus, Jains and Sikhs.
There’s as much anticipation built up over over this time of year as Christmas and New Years combined in the US. All the same displays of gift giving, sweets, decorating and fireworks are practiced by Indians all over the country (if not at extravagant levels by Western standards).
Wikipedia explains the celebration of “Deepvali”:
“Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama, along with Sita and Lakshmana, from his 14-year-long exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana. In joyous celebration of the return of their king, the people of Ayodhya, the Capital of Rama, illuminated the kingdom with earthen diyas and by bursting firecrackers.”
While I disagree with the Hindu belief system as a whole, I can still honor the shared desire to see good overcome evil.
It’s as Paul describes in his letter to the Romans: “Your personal convictions [on such matters]—exercise [them] as in God’s presence, keeping them to yourself [striving only to know the truth and obey His will]. Blessed (happy, to be envied) is he who has no reason to judge himself for what he approves [who does not convict himself by what he chooses to do].” (Rm 14:22)
For now, Michael and I can at least use the opportunity to give even more generously to our house staff and enjoy the seasonal excitement among everyone here in Delhi.
We’ll be in Chiang Mai this year for Diwali, but here is a video we took of last year’s celebrations: