By Anitha and Anusha
Diwali simply means “festival of lights.” It is the only festival that is celebrated throughout India. Two girls from India tell us about the holiday:
“Diwali is a joyous occasion, particularly for the children as it brings them new clothes, home prepared sweets and above all firecrackers. It is a common belief that a devil called Narakasura was killed by Lord Krishna to relieve the mankind of his misdeeds. All Hindus celebrate the event every year as a happy occasion. It is usually celebrated on a new moon day during the month of October or November.
I have seen the Diwali festival since my childhood days and it is always a joyous occasion for me. I used to meet all my close relatives and friends and exchange greetings. I would set off firecrackers all though the night, get up early in the morning, take a good bath and taste the sweets prepared by my grandmother. We used to seek the blessings of our grandparents and they usually gave me some gift to make the occasion memorable.”
–ANITHA, 19, FROM BANGALORE, INDIA
“This festival has a story. There used to be a demon called Narakasura who harassed sages and innocent people. People did not light their houses in fear of Narakasura. On the occasion when Narakasura was killed people celebrated by lighting many lamps and firecrackers. The day after Narakasura was killed is Diwali. On Diwali, everyone wakes up early in the morning. They get an oil massage, take a bath and wear new clothes. They make special dishes and sweets and have a lot of fun.”
–ANUSHA, 12, FROM ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA