Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Divali- The Festival of Lights

Though I don't talk about religion on my blog a lot, I am Hindu. Today we celebrate Divali... actually it's a bit odd this year as some people are celebrating it tomorrow instead. Divali or the Festival of Lights is a big deal for us Hindus. It is both a religious and festive celebration and is kind of like our Christmas (except my family celebrates Christmas too, so double celebrations).  In Trinidad, for weeks before, there are huge street and store displays with diyas, fireworks, fruit, sweets and East Indian clothing for sale. Hindus spend lots of time cleaning their homes before Divali and the week before, abstaining from meat as well in the process. Schools and work would have Divali celebrations. We would also visit Divali Nagar, a popular weeklong fair celebrating Divali and the Indo Trinidadian culture.

For my family, on Divali Day, a public holiday my parents would cook a lovely vegetarian feast. It was my job to get the diyas, wicks and oil ready for the night. We would also visit my grandmother who would invite her entire block over for a meal- it was a huge get together! When we went back home, we had our personal family prayers, had dinner and began to light up. This is where it gets really fun as many people go all out with their deeya designs and displays like here and here. When we were younger, my parents would take us out for a drive to see all the diyas but as we got older we gave that up for spending time with friends who would come over to help us light up and celebrate with us.

When I first came to Canada, boy did I miss Divali in Trinidad! I missed my parents, the pre-season, the food, the lighting up, the food, having  friends over, did I mention the food? Now, 10 years in though, although I would love to visit Trinidad for Divali one day and have my girls experience a Divali there, you go where life takes you  and we do exactly that here in our little corner of Canada!

 First of all, we usually take the day off now from school and work. We first spend the morning at home. We make some sort of prasad (or parsad as the trinis say) and do our own family prayer (puja), lighting a few diyas at home. In the afternoon, and this is a large part of why I love Divali in Canada, we head over to our aunt's place. We  do a family prayer there, sing some bhajans (Hindu devotional songs), light up our diyas (more inside than outside as it's so cold), have a lovely meal and then spend some time together enjoying each other's company. It is always such a festive evening.

Here's a look at past Divalis. Here's a look at our Divali's in the last few years.

2009- with a 6 month old baby

Sweet toddler

For some reason, I can't seem to find the actual Divali day but here's Cassia celebrating with some friends' kids.

Our family is growing!

And here we are last year!


For those who are celebrating Divali, I  hope that everyone had a festive and holy day and a wonderful year to follow filled with love, peace and prosperity... and for those who are not,  I wish you a wonderful day filled with peace and joy!

Linking up with Jess and Ashley for It's The Little Things.

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(PS. For those who've been with me for last year, yep, it's last year's posts- combined and tweaked a bit)


  1. You have such a beautiful family Sarita! Best wishes to all of you for Diwali.


  2. I love reading about different traditions! When we first moved to Toronto (we lived in Rexdale the first year, yikes!), I was wondering why everyone had their Christmas lights up so early, and then why there were fireworks going off in the middle of October, but then I figured it out that people were celebrating Diwali.

  3. So neat to learn about this! Thanks for sharing!

  4. What beautiful pictures :) Happy Diwali!

  5. I love hearing about other traditions and cultures!! What a fun celebration!

  6. Wonderful pictures! Enjoy your celebration!

  7. Happy Diwali. I imagine it will be a lot of fun for you and your girls to celebrate Diwali back at home one day!


Hearing from you makes me so happy!!

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