Shubh Divali

The word ‘Divali’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Deepavali’ meaning a row of lights. ‘Deep’ means light or lamp and ‘avali’ means row. Hence Divali literally signifies a row or cluster of lights. That's why Divali (aka Diwali or Deepavali) is also known as the "Festival of Lights".

On the day of Divali, Hindus light clay or oil lamps (called ‘deyas’) in & around their homes, temples, gardens, rooftops, streets and outer walls. This decoration with deyas during Divali makes everything look amazingly gorgeous and vibrant. Divali is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm here in T&T as Divali is considered to be one of our more "celebrated" holidays. The whole country joins in celebration with the Hindu community, with Hindus and non-Hindus partaking in the lighting of deyas and house lights, the bursting of bamboo, firework displays and enjoying the many varieties of indigenous East Indian foods and sweets.  Many rotishops do brisk business around Divali, with many having to make extra rotis and roti-skins to cater for the increased demand for the delicacies…

Many Hindus invite  close friends, family and relations to their homes to partake in meals celebrating the religious festival, with some going so far as to invite complete strangers into their homes to help them celebrate the joyous occasion.

Some employers allow their employees to dress in traditional East Indian garb to celebrate the occasion. Divali is also considered by many in T&T to be a forerunner to the Christmas season, with a lot of people electing to start putting up their Christmas lights and making their preparations right around, or soon after, Divali.

Take a look at some pictures I took last year during the Divali celebrations on Ethel Street, in the suburb of Port of Spain known as St James.


Bobolee Chron

Resident expert on all things Cracked.

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