Diwali, the festival of light, is one of the biggest festivals in Hinduism. Parish parents Ami Patel, Anjula Gupta and Gunjan Jain spoke about this important celebration in Godwin Chapel at Parish on November 1, 2016.
“To me it means celebration and the start of the new year” said Jain.
The name, Diwali, comes from the row of clay lamps that Indians light outside their homes during the festival. It is said that this represents the inner light within us that protects us from spiritual darkness or evil. The holiday originated as a harvest festival that celebrated the last harvest of the year, as India was originally an agricultural society. During this time, people would ask for the blessing of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Diwali holds the same importance to Indians as Christmas does to Christians, so it's importanct to celebrate it with family and friends.
“My favorite thing is having the kids celebrate with us," remarked Jain. "Having them learn about what Diwali really means and sharing that with friends and family that don’t necessarily follow the religion . . . I think that brings me a lot of joy.”
Parish invites all students and faculty to share their faith in Chapel as a way to celebrate the cultural diversity that exists within the School.