Sunday, November 08, 2009

Anchorage Diwali Celebration 2009

Members of Anchorage's Indian community and guests celebrated Diwali Saturday night at Northwood Elementary School.
The word दीपावली(Dipavali) literally translates as a row of lamps in Sanskrit[1]. It is traditional for adherents of Diwali-celebrating faiths to light small clay lamps (or Deep in Sanskrit: दीप) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil within an individual. During Diwali, many wear new clothes and share sweets/snacks with each other. Some Indian business communities start their financial year by opening new account books on the first day of Diwali for good luck the following year.
In Hinduism, Diwali marks the return of Lord Raama to his kingdom Ayodhya after defeating Ravana (the Demon Kin, and also the demons KING) - the ruler of Lanka in the epic story of Ramayana. It also celebrates the slaying of the demon king Narakasura by Lord Krishna. Both signifying the victory of good over evil. In Jainism, Diwali marks the attainment of moksa by Mahavira in 527 BC.[2][3] . In Sikhism, Diwali commemorates the return of Guru Har Gobind Ji to Amritsar after freeing 52 other Hindu kings imprisoned in Fort Gwalior by Emperor Jahangir. He was welcomed by the people who lit candles and divas to celebrate his return. Which is why Sikhs also refer to Diwali also as Bandi Chhorh Divas meaning "the day of release of detainees".
Diwali is considered to be a national festival in India and Nepal. The aesthetic aspect of the festival is enjoyed around the world regardless of faith.  (From Wikipedia, where you can get a lot more about Diwali.)

The video gives a little sense of the liveliness of the evening.


  1. Ummm, I think of costumes as what you wear on Halloween. These are, you know, clothes that people wear normally in India. Well these may be a touch fancier than everyday. :)


Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.