Diwali, the Festival of Lights brings a number of traditions, the most significant of which is the lighting of lamps.
Why? Light is seen as “good”
To spread light, illuminating the darkness to ward off evil
To find knowledge, where there is ignorance
To spread the warmth of love, where there is hatred
And of course, lamps look beautiful
Diwali brings everyone together to celebrate.
Each year, in addition to celebrating with sweets, new clothes and decorative lamps in and around the house, we amp up our year-round family tradition of lighting the lamp of love in lives that need it the most by:
- Feeding children, the homeless and the street dwellers
- Gathering all our “extras” that are in good condition to donate to those who need them. This includes toys, clothes, jewelry, school supplies, utensils and just about anything we are unlikely to use
- Helping light the lamp of education by donating to the School for the Blind
- Sponsoring children below the poverty line
This year, we’re doing away with the sweets and new clothes. I am just lighting one lamp at the altar at home. We’ll be making special efforts to do the above on a larger scale.
When my Mom was around, she made it a point to carry a bag of something to give away whenever she stepped out of the house. We have a large trunk where we keep adding things we’d like to give away, so no one who visits has to go away empty handed. Our chest of treasured items becomes a treasure chest for someone. It also helps us grab something each time we go out and give it away.
During festival time, we try and do more of this. Spring cleaning is a regular practice before a major festival and it also helps us take stock of what we need – not what we want. We keep what we need and give what we can afford to share to those who cannot afford it.
This year, I am also happy to support a wonderful initiative on Facebook called the H.U.G.- Humane Universal Good Deed Network – where hundreds of generous people have come forward to contribute cash, clothes, toys, provisions for cooking, their time and much more.
Even as I type this, there are trucks on the move, collecting these from various points in the city to be taken to a central location where it will be sorted out and distributed. Madhumita Kalauny and Mahita Fernandez are the Angels organizing this drive to make Diwali the best ever – supported by hundreds of angels who’ve come forward to give. Even children are chipping in to do their bit by raising funds for this.
I cannot think of a better way to celebrate Diwali.
You’re welcome to join us.
Because no one has become poorer from giving.
The point is, each one of us intends to do good, make a difference. This is an opportunity to do so. And it needn’t be just fesitval time. As long as we’re alive, we have to live. Some of us can do it comfortably, some of us can’t.
Together, let’s make a difference, please.
Collecting smiles is easy.
Happy Diwali to you and your loved ones!
Why is Diwali celebrated? Here are some Diwali stories.
Here’s how the Festivals of Lights is celebrated
So true Vidya…This truly is the best way to celebrate Diwali, bringing some light into the lives of those who may not have everything they need but should…A wonderful initiative , something that makes me feel so good and makes me believe that people do care …
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Belated Diwali greetings Vidya to you and your family? I loved reading about the traditions and the meaning of lighting the lamps …
Susan recently posted…I was on the Way, too ..
Thank you so much, Susan! Hugs!
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