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A Year In Migration

My Scholarship entry - Diwali: The Festival of Lights

I chose to study abroad in Varanasi, India for several reasons. It is one of the oldest living cities in the world and the holiest pilgrimage site in Hinduism. Before coming I knew I would get to partake in Diwali…the festival of color and lights. This is a picture of my host father and sister creating a Rangoli for the festival. Diwali is the celebration of Rama's coming, and signifies the victory of light over darkness. It is celebrated by the marriage of Ganesh-ji and Lakshmi. The Rangoli is a sand drawing created as a sacred welcoming for Lakshmi to enter the home and bless all inside. While the festival preparations extend over a period of five days, the main celebration coincides with the new moon (literally light vs. the dark). I was fortunate enough to celebrate this day with my host family because while so much of the visual beauty is outside, the sacred rituals are done in the home. Watching the older generation pass ancient traditions on to the new generation was something to behold.

INDIA | Sunday, 23 November 2014 | Views [237] | View Larger Image

I chose to study abroad in Varanasi, India for several reasons. It is one of the oldest living cities in the world and the holiest pilgrimage site in Hinduism. Before coming I knew I would get to partake in Diwali…the festival of color and lights. This is a picture of my host father and sister creating a Rangoli for the festival. Diwali is the celebration of Rama's coming, and signifies the victory of light over darkness. It is celebrated by the marriage of Ganesh-ji and Lakshmi. The Rangoli is a sand drawing created as a sacred welcoming for Lakshmi to enter the home and bless all inside. While the festival preparations extend over a period of five days, the main celebration coincides with the new moon (literally light vs. the dark). I was fortunate enough to celebrate this day with my host family because while so much of the visual beauty is outside, the sacred rituals are done in the home. Watching the older generation pass ancient traditions on to the new generation was something to behold.

Tags: sand art, family, festivals, diwali

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