For one week each year, the earth shines a little brighter as millions of flickering oil-wick lamps light the planet in celebration of Diwali, the festival of lights.
For the millions celebrating throughout India and the world, this festival of lights marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. Diwali or Deepavali, literally meaning “a row of lamps” often arranged in intricate geometric patterns. This year, Diwali falls on Wednesday, October 26th.
How can we all participate in this festival of light? Here are a few suggestions to incorporate this celebration of light, hope and a fresh start into our own lives.
1. Clear our space - Cleaning, painting and decorating of the home symbolizes the sweeping away negative thoughts and energies and represents filling our mind with good and pure thoughts and feelings.
2. Create a new vision - On this auspicious day, we have an opportunity to start fresh. Creating a vision board by ourselves or with family, friends and partners allows us to clearly picture our goals, hopes and dreams and the path to manifesting them.
3. Treat ourselves - Purchase a small piece of jewelry, silver or a new accessory such as a scarf or hat to wear often as a symbol of our newly imagined self.
4. Share our light - Exchange a few simple, home-baled goods, dried fruits or nuts with our family, neighbors and friends or bring a selection of canned and boxed goods to our local food pantry.
5. Go with the Glow - Light a few candles around our home before dinner. Share stories about adventures we'd like to have over the next year. happy tales of inspiration and hope. In Inidia, colorful earthen lamps called diyas are lit around and inside the home, on balconies, even roof-tops, symbolizing the lamp of self-awareness and enlightenment, to quell the darkness that resides in our minds.
6. Light sources - Take a moment to make a list. Write down all of the sources of light within our lives - from people and places, yoga studios and healers to happy and hopeful ideas, songs, books and poems. Refer back to this list often!
The origin of Diwali goes back thousands of years, sometime around 8th century B.C.E.
The celebration varies distinctly by region but universally symbolizes the vanquish of darkness and the return of light and hope.
Today is an opportunity to let our light shine!
Ignite a fire within with warming foods such as ginger, peppers and curries. Light a few candles and bask in the magical twinkling of the lights, knowing that we are one of many, we are all interconnected and that today we all celebrate the light within each of us!
Today's mantra: My divine light shines in everything I do.
Namaste, (The light in me honors the light in you)