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Diwali: The Hindu Festival of Lights

Once a year, the moon looks completely different from India. With oil lamps adorning the streets during the new-moon night, the festival of Diwali has grown to become the biggest celebration in Southeast Asia.

In India, months are divided into light and dark halves. Diwali (“series of lighted lamps” in Hindi) starts during the dark half of Ashvina, the lunar month, and ends in the light half of Karttika (Hindu calendar month that falls around October and November).

In Gregorian terms, we’re talking late October to early November, with this year’s new-moon night falling on November 7th.

Aside from India, countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago also celebrate Diwali.

But, why?

The history of Diwali

Millions around the world observe the festival of lights, but each person seems to have a different reason for celebrating.

Based on Hindu mythology, Diwali commemorates the return of Rama, Sita and Lakshman, three exiled deities from the city of Ayodhya, after their triumph over evil.  To welcome them home, communities light up their homes, streets and offices.

Some view the oil lamps as guiding lamps for the gods, with the goddess of wealth Lakshmi being the most worshipped during the season.

In the end, Diwali is an inclusive celebration that aims to bring everyone together regardless of their beliefs. An overall triumph of good over evil.

The tradition of Diwali

Lights aside, Diwali is an event that engages all the senses, from fragrant jasmine being sold in street markets to people drawing lotus blossoms with colored sand.

Families wear new clothes, visit the temple together and prepare food to share with the neighbors.

Also, there are fireworks. There is dancing, good food and an overall desire to share and spend time with others.

How Ria celebrates Diwali

To share this special time with our customers, we gifted Ria pouches to all those who received money at our locations in India from October 1st to November 6th.

At the same time, we helped spread the Diwali spirit by adorning our stores with congratulatory banners.

Beyond religious affinities, Ria recognizes the beauty of Diwali, a celebration of the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair.

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