Originated from the Sanskrit word “Dipavali”, Diwali or Deepavali is defined as a series of lights. This can easily be understood as the Deepavali celebration itself is a festival of lights. The celebration usually lasts for 4 to 5 days and during this period, you would see a plethora of lit candles, fairy lights, and oil lamps in Hindus’ houses, in shopping malls, and even on the side of the road.

Deepavali is considered as one of the most significant celebration for those of the Hindu faith as this day is dedicated to honoring an incarnation of their God who won the battle against the demons. It was believed that the demons were defeated by lighting rows of clay lamps, hence naming the celebration as the festival of lights. Apart from the lights, the most common artwork you would see in almost every shopping mall is a Rangoli; a pattern that is created using common materials such as colored rice or sand. 

Rangoli by Shanthi Sridharan KOLAM
Credit: Shanthi Sridharan KOLAM

This year in Malaysia, Deepavali falls on a Sunday, October 27th 2019. Everyone celebrating Deepavali would wear their traditional clothing such as Saree for women, and Dhoti for men. Open houses are held serving traditional Indian food such as curries, tandoori, and maruku that are not only loved by our fellow Indians, but everyone in our nation, Malaysia.