Divali, the festival of light over darkness and sharing, also known as Deepavali, will be officially celebrated with pomp and good cheer this Sunday, November 12. Celebrated between October and November every year, Divali has spiritual significance for Hindus. According to tradition, earthen lamps (diyas) are set up and colorful “Rangolis” adorn courtyards and house entrances.
Over the years, the lamps have been replaced by electric garlands. The festival that follows embodies the victory of good over evil: the annihilation of the demon Narakasura and the triumphant return of Lord Rama.
Happy people with the return of Ram and Sita
The Divali festival also pays tribute to the goddess Luckshmi, wife of the god Vishnu. Luckshmi always accompanies her husband when he comes to earth and plays the role of a human helping mankind to fight evil. Rama, Vishnu’s seventh avatar, and his wife Sita are forced to leave the palace after falling victim to perverse intrigues. Destitute and rejected, they wander alone in the rainforest. Sita is kidnapped by the demon.
Ravena and Rama ally with the monkey army to rescue her. Ravena is killed in the confrontation. Sita is then freed and the couple return together to the palace, where they are welcomed by people so happy that they illuminate the whole city with thousands of lights. Since then, Divali has celebrated Ram and Sita’s return to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile.
Illumination of houses across the island
To celebrate the victory of good over evil, Mauritian Hindu families clean and decorate their homes, dressing in new clothes. Then, with joy, they prepare various sweets and cakes. They visit relatives and neighbors of all faiths to share them and strengthen the bonds of affection. Among Mauritian culinary specialties, “gâteau patate” (potato cake) is the must-have pastry for the Festival of Lights. It is prepared in huge numbers and consists of a delicious sweet potato fritter stuffed with coconut and sugar and fried in oil.
In towns and villages alike, at sunset, the festival of light is in full swing, whether in the form of abundant colorful garlands or small traditional clay lamps. The streets resound with a joyous atmosphere as everyone takes a stroll around the island to admire the illuminated houses. Divali in Mauritius is celebrated in a spirit of joy, sharing, and brotherhood.
Above all, Divali is a sign of unification for all Mauritian religious denominations, whether Muslim, Hindu or Catholic.
The Ramayana epic
It’s worth pointing out that several of the country’s socio-religious and cultural associations, including the Mauritius Sanatan Dharma Temples Federation, celebrated the Divali festival across the island this week, particularly in the northern and southern regions. On this occasion, several politicians including the Prime Minister, Pravind Jugnauth, and religious leaders took part in these functions.
Addressing the audience, they referred to the Ramayana epic. “The principles, noble values and behavior of the God Ram towards those around him, his embodiment of righteousness, his courage, sense of justice and compassion, among others, should inspire us,” they wished.
Le Matinal Media wishes ‘Happy Divali’ to its readers.