Diwali at Mr Speaker’s House

I attended the Diwali celebrations held at Speaker’s House on Monday 17 October 2022. It is a special annual autumn festival that symbolizes the triumph of light over dark and good over evil. The word is derived from two Sanskrit words meaning “row of lights”. It is also known as the “Festival of Lights”.

Traditional Festive Lights

Diwali is a national holiday in eleven countries and has been celebrated for more than 2,500 years. It is a five-day celebration that peaks on the third day. The main day falls on the darkest day of the lunar month which will be Monday 24 October 2022 this year.

Each day holds its own significance. The first day is often marked as the day to clean and prepare homes for the celebrations ahead. The second day might involve the buying of festive foods, or a visit to a temple, and the main day is dedicated to worshipping Lakshmi. The fourth and fifth days are for family bonding.

It is celebrated widely across the world and so the festivities vary, although the lighting of candles and gathering of families are a recurring theme. The lighting of candles is seen as a way to provide a path into a home for the Hindu goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi, or for decoration. Despite Lakshmi being the principal deity of Diwali, others are celebrated, such as Kali, the destroyer of evil forces.

The river Saryu, in the north Indian city of Ayodhya