Oct 27, 2015 News
– India High Commissioner
As confusions over the date Diwali should be celebrated in Guyana continue, the Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Mr. Vijayaratnam Mohalingam, is saying that the festival of light could either be celebrated on
November 10 or November 11.
South India will be celebrating the holiday on November 10 while North India will be observing the festival the following day.
The High Commissioner said that in India, Diwali is being celebrated over five days. “On the third day, Diwali is celebrated in the North and on the second day, South India observes it as Deepavali. There is not much of a difference between Diwali and Deepavali.”
Since Diwali’s date is such a sensitive issue, the Commissioner said that he prefer to stay away from this topic but he did say that while he will be celebrating the holiday on November 10th, some of his staff at the embassy will be observing it the following day.
“I am from South India and my staffers are from North,” Mohalingam said.
The festival is celebrated on different days in India because of the custom and tradition in South and North India.
Also, Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu month.
In the North, the festival is celebrated to honour the legend which has it that on the new moon night of Kartik Amavasya, the beloved prince of Ayodhya, Lord Rama returned to his kingdom, along with his pious wife, Sita, and devoted brother Laxman.
It is said that the first Diwali was celebrated by his loyal subjects, when in order to show their happiness, they lit every nook and corner of the kingdom with earthen diyas to welcome their beloved prince.
However, in a contrast to this legend, South India celebrates Deepavali, a day ahead on the day of Narak Chaturdashi.
They do so to honour the memory of the defeat of a malicious demon named Narakasura at the hands of Lord Krishna and his wife, Satyabhama. It is said that this demon had become so powerful that he defeated the king of the deities, Lord Indra, and abducted 16,000 innocent daughters of sages and deities.
Therefore, to end his cruelty, Lord Krishna killed the demon and smeared his blood on his forehead as a mark of victory.
To gain respectability for the rescued women, Lord Krishna gave them the status of his wives.
After the battle when the lord returned to his home early before the breaking of the dawn, womenfolk massaged him with fragrant oil and bathed him to remove the grime of the battlefield. The mother of Narakasura, Bhudevi, announced that this, indeed, was a day of celebration for all humankind.
Since then, people light lamps and firecrackers on this day.
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