For the Gregorian year 2014 and the Vikram Samvat year 2071, the festival of lights, Diwali, will fall on Thursday, October 23. It will be a time to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi Devi into our homes to bring Her divine graces and blessings on our families and homes. Lamps (diyas/divas) are lit to welcome Her into our humble abodes and bestow upon us her gifts of prosperity and wellbeing.
Diwali also means spending time with the family, exchanging gifts and wishing each other well. Plates and thalis laden with sweets beckon hungry stomachs and sweet teeth over, while living rooms and courtyards across the world see shadows and smiling faces flicker under the glow of a thousand flames. The skies become a rapturous applause of bright colours, sparks and bangs as a million fireworks launch themselves far into the night sky. Everyone gets out their best sarees, dresses, sherwanis, kurtas and suits because for millions of people across the world, the joyous festival of lights comes but just once a year.
Here in London, the days are getting shorter and the cold is creeping in. As the last of the summer slowly drains away into recent memory, Diwali offers a unique occasion to get away from the darkness and bathe ourselves in holy light. To replace the biting cold winds with the warm scent of freshly made pakoras and roti. A festival of colour being the perfect antidote to the grey and unforgiving climes of late October.
I look forward a lot to this festival…especially as I get to raid my mum’s trays of what us Mauritians call gato Diwali…otherwise known as mithai or Indian sweets… 😛
There are many stories from Hinduism that tell of how Diwali (Deepavali) came as a gift from God to humanity. The most well known is of course from the epic Ramayaan (Ramayana) concerning the return of Lord Ram and his consort Sita to their kingdom of Ayodhya after a long fourteen years’ exile and a battle of good versus and evil against the mahasur or great demon Ravana. It is said that the citizens of Ayodhya lit lamps along the main road out of the forest of Lord Ram’s exile towards his earthly home to guide Him back to his rightful place on the throne.
Diwali also represents the celebration of the incarnation of Lakshmi Devi. She was given the grace of God to appear during the churning of the primordial ocean that begun the world, the Samudra Manthan, which is one of the few occasions where Gods and demons co-operated. The Goddess of prosperity and wealth soon established the special Lakshmi Puja, or prayer, which is now a standard part of the religious angle of Diwali. The festival also commemorates the destruction of the thieving demon Narakasur, the hellish one, by Lord Krishna, in which the God also liberated 16,000 captives from the demon’s dastardly clutches.
Since the Half-Eaten Mind brought its own brand of news reporting and colour to the blogosphere just over two years ago, we have developed our own unique way of celebrating Diwali as well as many other festivals. With the help of a bit of regular internet research and a flicker of creativity, we have established a tradition of sharing with our readers a selection of our best GIFs to mark the Diwali season as well as a wallpaper/poster image designed especially for the occasion.
For Diwali 2014, the Half-Eaten Mind brings you our top-class, top-rated Diwali GIFs gallery and a special wallpaper. On behalf of myself, and my family, I would like to wish you and yours in advance a very auspicious, happy and prosperous Diwali.
May this Diwali be as bright as ever.
May this Diwali bring joy, health and wealth to you.
May the festival of lights brighten up you and your nearest and dearest ones’ lives.
May this Diwali bring for you the most brightest and choicest happiness and love you have ever wished for.
May this Diwali bring you the utmost in peace and prosperity.
May light triumph over darkness.
May peace transcend the earth.
May the spirit of the light illuminate the world.
May the light that we celebrate at Diwali show us the way and lead us together on the path of peace and social harmony.
“WISHING YOU A VERY HAPPY DIWALI”
(Greeting by Naresh Gupta)
Our official HEM greetings poster….
The Half-Eaten Mind’s festive wallpaper for Diwali this year features a background of what most people know as ‘Big Ben’ but known officially as the Elizabeth Tower. The monument forms part of the Houses of Parliament here in London, and this is a landmark well-known among tourists and Londoners. Much of the initial work, including the HEM logo and initial text was done in the photo editing site Lunapic with the remainder added in via our old favourite piZap. The traditional lamp comes courtesy of ‘zeimusu’, a creator of open-source cliparts.
…and now…our Diwali GIFs…..