Saturday, November 2, 2013

India's Festival of Lights (Diwali)

Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly; Huffington Post Religion, Oct. 30, 2013
(Nina Paley) "Sita Sings the Blues" new full-length, full-res version. DVD - See FULL MOVIE is one of the biggest festivals on the Hindu calendar. There are multiple reasons why modern Hindus celebrate this festival.
The most popular narrative, based on the ancient Sanskrit epic called the Ramayana. In it Lord Rama, his wife Sita, and his brother Lakshmana return to their kingdom of Ayodhya after defeating Ravana the demon king.
On that dark new moon night, the residents of Ayodhya joyfully lit oil lamps to welcome Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana back to the kingdom. 
Defying Traditions
Widows of Vrindavan celebrate Diwali at their ashram on October 31, 2013 in Mathura, India. These aged widows have been abandoned by their families or have fled their inhospitable homes to make Vrindavan their home or their last destination.
To kindle happiness in their twilight years, Sulabh International founder Bindeshwar Pathak has come up with the idea of organizing the festival of lights for these widows, locally known as matas.
Following in that tradition, Hindus celebrate Diwali by lighting oil lamps, detonating firecrackers, cleaning and decorating their homes, distributing sweet delicacies, and gathering with friends and family. More

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