Christmas has arrived early this year for those of East Indian descent. Diwali (also referred to as Deepavali), the Festival of Lights offically falls on October 21st, but the celebrations have already begun.
This five day celebration marks the return of Rama after 14 years of exile for Hindus. However, other indian communities remember this day as well. Sikhs celebrate this day to honor the return of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, who escaped his captors. He found his way back to the Golden Temple in Armitstar by way of oil lamps lit along his path . Meanwhile, Jains celebrate the Nirvana of Lord Mahavira who established the dharma.
To find a Diwali celebration close to you, you can click here or go to the nearest Mundar, Gurudwara or temple near you. A lesson I learned from last year–watch out for the large crowds, get there early, and don’t forget to bring your own candle.