Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights. It fell on Oct. 19, this year.
It is the New Year on the Hindu Calendar and is considered the luckiest part of the year.
It is the celebration of good over evil and is the ringing out of the previous year.
It is also know as the festival of lights because Hindus will light up their homes with clay and paper lanterns and holiday lights like in America at Christmas.
We were lucky enough to be in Laos and Vietnam for this colorful celebration a few years ago. The parades of lantern dragons built by groups of people were wonderful. It is just like our forth of July parade her at home, with families sitting on the edge of the road in town to watch it all.
We bought hollowed out pumpkins with a candle in the center. The candle is lit and the pumpkin is sent a drift down the Mekong river along with the troubles of the last year. We payed a young boy to place the pumpkin in the river. It was impossible to get down to the rivers edge due to the crowds.
The river was full of hundreds of lanterns that night. It was a wonderful site to see.
If you are going to any countries with a large Hindu population, I think this is the best time to go.
Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and she is now invited into the homes to bring in a lucky New Year. Her image and statues are covered in jewels and money to help her bring luck to all.
Dhanteras is the night before Diwali and is considered a good time to purchase all manner of material items such as cars, I phones and the like. Sales incentives are all around. The stock market in India also has Muhurat, which is special trading at significant astrological times on the night of Diwali.
Large card parties are held in families homes as well.
This is an interesting time to see the mixing of spiritual and financial desires crossing the path of the other.