Diwali is one of the most popular Indian holidays.
Most mark the day by having their traditions of the day and having firecrackers when dusk hits. It is a celebration of the lights. The day is normally considered as a spiritual and a lucky one. It is all about happiness and spreading love. Govardhan Puja, another Hindu festival, often falls a day after Diwali, and were celebrated Friday on the campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Govardhan day is the celebration of the Hindu god Krishna’s win over evil. He was able to protect his people when he lifted a mountain with his pinky finger and allowed them to hide under it while it rained and stormed.
Diwali is marked with different traditions. They start it off with a chanting meditation prayer, the ‘mala’, which is string of prayer beads used in the Hindu community, and wearing of the sari which is the Indian traditional attire. Dolly Baruah lead the prayers and the whole event.
After people paid their respect, Baruah passed out petals and joked about keeping them in pockets and all wishes would come true, since that’s what she did when she was young cause she actually believed that.
As much as the Diwali is an Hindu celebration, the diversity in the room was something impressive, with people from different background not only celebrating it, but also knowing all the prayer chants and the dances.
The day is marked as a happy day, and according to Baruah, it is not just a day of celebration but also a day to be thankful and see the positivity in each and every aspect, letting go of the anger and the sorrows, and just being in the moment and grateful.
To them, the day wasn’t just about celebrating the holy day but also being able to come together as people with the same traditions and beliefs, enjoying each other’s presence.
The day came about as a result of Ram and Sita coming home years ago. Ram was a prince who had to be in exile for 14 years with his wife and younger brother. Aside from all the hardships they faced, including battling demons, they emerged victorious and upon the returning to home, they found the entire city decorated with lights and were celebrated for their bravery.
A dance marked the closing of the ceremony and songs of praise were sung. They finalized the day by sitting together and having dinner as a family.