Deepavali or Diwali, also known as the festival of lights is observed by Hindus in recognition of the victory of good over evil. It is in the seventh month of the Hindu calendar, which is the Hindu month of Kartik in October / November. The exact date is determined by the visibility of the moon. Deepavali usually falls on the day before the new moon, also known as Amavasya. It is usually in between the 16th of October and the 15th of November every year in the Gregorian Calendar.
One of the things you may observe at the entrances of Hindu homes during Deepavali when you visit your Hindu friends is that there is an intricate floral design on the ground. This is called ‘kolam’, and is often made from colored rice and colored powder. Many believe that the Goddess of wealth, deity Lakshmi (Laksmi) would only enter a home with a ‘kolam’ at the entrance. It is also a sign of welcoming others into the home.
Since it’s the festival of lights, you may often see Hindus lighting their oil lamps to signify the triumph of good over evil. You’ll also hear sounds of firecrackers during the festival which indicates the joy of the people living on earth, making the gods aware of their plentiful state. It is also to scare off the evil spirits.
If you’re keen to witness how local Hindus are celebrating Deepavali, you may visit various Little India in Malaysia. They are located in
- Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur
- Jalan Tengku Kelana, Klang.
- Georgetown, Penang
- Jalan Bendahara, Melaka
- Ipoh, Perak
Else, you visit one of the many Hindus temples to hear their prayers and ceremonials. These places will definitely give you extra experiences and are also wonderful to take pictures!
- Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur
- Sri Kondaswamy Kovil Hindu Temple, Kuala Lumpur
- Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur
- Arulmigu Balathandayuthpani Temple, Penang