Diwali (or Divali)—also known as the Festival of Lights—is celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains across the world, including the Caribbean. Many say that Trinidad and Tobago’s Diwali celebrations are among the most spectacular in the Western Hemisphere. This year it is celebrated on Wednesday, November 7 (tomorrow). Happy Diwali to all our friends in the Caribbean and around the globe!
The Bristol Post writes:
It falls on a different day each year, in either October or November, as the date is determined by the moon. The festival always falls on the 15th day of the Hindu calendar’s holiest month, Kartika. To celebrate people light candles and set off fireworks, to mark the triumph of good over evil.
The celebration of Diwali last for five days, always the two days on either side of the signature day. There are lots of ways people celebrate the festival of light. As well as setting off fireworks and lighting candles, there may be street parties, firework displays, Diwali lanterns as well as food and music. In the lead-up to Diwali, celebrants will have prepared by cleaning, renovating, and decorating their homes and workplaces.
On the Trinidad and Tobago celebrations, Public Holidays Global says:
The Bamboo structures are set up in open, grassy fields, in homes or driveways, or in public places. Lit clay lanterns called “deyas” are then arranged on the bamboo frames. Observant Hindus will fast, pray, and seek the blessings of the goddess Lakshmi on this day as well.
Many families will enjoy special dishes and desserts, and food is often given away to neighbours. Fasting is only from meat dishes, so everything is grain, fruit, and vegetable. Delicacies include: sweet pudding-like rice porridge, curried mango, powdered, seasoned, and fried split peas, and “Khurma,” which is fried flour mixed with ginger and cinnamon and eaten off a stick.
Large Divali festivals are held in public all over the two islands, especially in ethnic Indian population centres.
For more information, see https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/diwali-2018-festival-lights-how-2189183, https://publicholidays.la/trinidad-and-tobago/divali/, https://www.drikpanchang.com/festivals/lakshmipuja/festivals-lakshmipuja-timings.html?geoname-id=3489854