Diwali or Deepavali is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year in autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in southern hemisphere). It is an official holiday in Fiji, Guyana, India,Pakistan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Diwali was first celebrated in the White House in 2003 and was given official status by the US Congress in 2007 by former president George W. Bush. Barack Obama became the first president to personally attend Diwali at the White House in 2009. The United States Postal Service issued a Diwali postage stamp on 5 October 2016.
One of the major festivals of Hinduism, it spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.
* Hindus across the world celebrate Diwali in honor of the return of Lord Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana from exile of 14 years after Rama defeated Ravana. To honor the return of Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana from Lanka and to illuminate their path, villagers light Diyas to celebrate the triumph of good over evil.
* For some, Diwali also celebrates the return of Pandavas after 12 years of Vanvas and one year of -Agyatavas- in Mahabharata.
* Deepavali is linked to the celebration of Lakshmi, who is venerated amongst Hindus as the goddess of wealth and prosperity and is the wife of Lord Vishnu. The 5-day festival of Diwali begins on the day Goddess Lakshmi was born from the churning of cosmic ocean of milk by the Devas (gods) and the Asuras (demons); while the night of Diwali is the day Lakshmi chose Vishnu as her husband and they were married. Along with Lakshmi, devotees make offerings to Ganesha, who symbolizes ethical beginnings and fearless remover of obstacles; Saraswati, who embodies music, literature and learning and Kubera, who symbolizes book-keeping, treasury and wealth management.
* Other Hindus believe that Diwali is the day Vishnu came back to Lakshmi and their abode in the Vaikuntha; so those who worship Lakshmi receive the benefit of her good mood, and therefore are blessed with mental, physical and material wellbeing during the year ahead.
Date : 10/29/16 7pm to 9pm
Venue : Vedic Dharma Samaj Fremont Hindu Temple, 3676 Delaware Drive, Fremont, CA, 94538.
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