Deepavali or Divali or the festival of lights is
observed by Hindus in recognition of the triumph of good over evil in the
seventh month of the Hindu calendar. Thanksgiving prayers and cleansing rituals
take place at temple and household altars throughout the country.
Deepavai is celebrated on the Hindu month of Kartik in October / November. It is also
called the Festivals of Lights.
It's a day of festive joy and Malaysians visit their friends of Hindu faith to
extend good wishes and to partake in the feasting and jollity
The word "Deepavali"
is a combination of the words ‘Dipa’ and ‘Gavali’, the former meaning
‘light’ and the latter meaning ‘a row’. Thus symbolizing the rows of
lights that can be seen at the houses of Hindu celebrants. As light dispels
darkness, this festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
Several days before the celebration of Deepavali the houses of the Hindus
as well as their surrounding areas are cleaned from top to bottom.
entrances of Hindu homes are decorated with the ‘kolam’, an intricate floral
design on the ground which signifies religious believes. This religious
connotation, revolves around the Goddess of Wealth, the deity Lakshimi (Laksmi). Many
believe that the Goddess Lakshimi (Laksmi) would only enter a home with a ‘kolam’ at
The glow of lights, whether “vilakku” (oil
lamps fashioned out of clay) or colourful electric bulbs, brighten up the abode
of both rich and poor, signalling the coming festivities
The Hindus would prepare numerous
traditional cakes and sweets for the day, among them are "murukku",
"omopadi", "athirrsam", "achi murukku", "laddu"
and "mysore pahu". These are made a few days before Deepavali.
On Deepavali morning, many Hindu devotees awaken before sunrise for the
ritual herbal oil bath., They put on new clothes. Then they go to the temples
where prayers are held in accordance with the ceremonial rites.
The rest of the day
they distribute cakes and sweets to their
neighbours and friends and many have "open house" for their non-Hindu
friends, as is customary in Malaysia.
Most devout Hindus tend to be vegetarian, but that doesn't change the fact that
Deepavali is the day to savour the many delicious Indian delicacies such as
sweetmeats, rice puddings and the ever-popular murukku.
Have a look also: PONGGAL FESTIVAL <click>