The legend goes that Diwali is celebrated to honour the return of Rama with his wife Sita (after vanquishing Ravana) to Ayodhya. The legend also states that Rama after vanquishing Ravana refused to take Sita back as his wife, and she was upset and cleansed herself in fire, emerging unscathed to prove she was pure. Evidently when they got back to Ayodhya, they weren’t on the best of the terms. We celebrate Diwali anyway.
Another legend goes that Sita gave birth to 2 sons Lava and Kusha, and something happened in the form of a row, and Mother Earth swallowed Sita yet again.
As a human race, we tend to not speak evil of the dead. I can well imagine how Rama became Lord Rama over time, giving us yet another excuse to eat and make merry.
Well … I don’t know how or when Diwali started. I do know that it was one of my favourite festivals. I grew up in a residential school, and most holidays were not declared holidays in our school. Diwali was. (Well…what would you do with 750 children on campus if there were declared holidays for every festival? ) It was also one of the opportunities to wear new clothes, and attend the Diwali puja in School. 10th and 12th grade students wore sarees and dhotis, and I can’t tell you how wonderful the whole scene looked.
Diwali is here again. Celebrations have been pushed to the week-end for those of us who don’t have declared holidays on Diwali.
Happy Diwali Folks!