Bumiputera Malaysia

Bumiputera Malaysia

By a Malaysian for his country

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Happy Deepavali

Diwali, also called Deepavali (Sanskrit: दीपावली, Tamil: தீபாவளி, Kannada:ದೀಪಾವಳೀ) is a major Hindu festival. Known as the "Festival of Lights", it symbolises the victory of good over evil, and lamps are lit as a sign of celebration and hope for mankind. The word Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit word Deepavali. This is a compound of two words Deepa and Avali. Deepa means light and Avali means row or line. Thus, literal meaning of the word is 'line of lights'.

Hindus, Jains and Sikhs alike regard it as a celebration of life and use the occasion to strengthen family and social relationships.

On the day of Diwali, many wear new clothes, share sweets and light firecrackers. The North Indian business community usually starts their financial new year on Diwali and new account books are opened on this day.

In Malaysia, Deepavali is celebrated during the seventh month of the Hindu solar calendar. It is a gazetted federal public holiday throughout the country. In many respects, it resembles the traditions followed in the Indian subcontinent.