Diwali is the biggest Indian festival of the year. The festival signifies the victory of light over darkness. It is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the Hindu month of Kartik, signaling the start of a new year. In our calendar, this period usually overlaps at the end of October and into November. It is celebrated in honor of Lakshmi – the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity.
Different parts of India celebrate Diwali differently and because of this, they have many different stories. A shared tradition is to leave a few diyas burning overnight to ward off evil and to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi as she brings good fortune into the new year. Other than lighting the diyas, Diwali celebrators take this opportunity to dress up, exchange gifts with family and friends, indulge in delicious foods and have a grand time.
Normally, at Hun we like to incorporate popular ways of celebrating Diwali into our
school festivities. During our exciting Diwali event, there would be rangoli patterns, a mehndi station, also known as henna, and fireworks. One of our main events used to include dance performances from students and last year we even did a massive Garba circle. Garba is a form of dance that originates from the northwestern Indian state of Gujarat. And of course Diwali at Hun would not be complete without the wide array of traditional Indian dishes. There would be
samosas, naan, various curries, mango lassi and much more.
Due to Covid-19, this year we were not able to celebrate in our usual manner. Nonetheless, we found a way to bring Diwali to Hun virtually. During a schoolwide assembly, we were able to share our culture, traditions, and the importance of Diwali through a little presentation. Also, we were able to hear from a few students, first-hand, their experiences and favorite memories. And with great enthusiasm, we were even able to safely distribute small packages of food during the school day for students and teachers to enjoy. There was also a discussion after school where anyone was welcome to share stories or even listen in. Many teachers and students came together to celebrate Diwali and even some alumni attended to share their excitement.
Although we were not able to celebrate in the traditional way, we are very glad and grateful to be able to share this festival with the Hun community.