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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School

THE BLAZE

The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School

THE BLAZE

The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School

THE BLAZE

A House Full of Diyas and a Mouth Full of Sweets: How Students Celebrate Diwali

On Nov. 12, Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs all over the world celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights. This holiday holds a lot of importance and nostalgia to all who choose to participate in its numerous traditions.
Srikha+Manubolu+smiles+in+her+brand-new+Diwali+outfit.+%E2%80%9CThis+year%2C+I+got+a+sparkly+red+and+orange+lehenga%2C%E2%80%9D+Manubolu+said.+%E2%80%9CIt%E2%80%99s+my+favorite+Diwali+outfit+yet.%E2%80%9D+Photo+courtesy+of++Srikha+Manubolu.
Srikha Manubolu smiles in her brand-new Diwali outfit. “This year, I got a sparkly red and orange lehenga,” Manubolu said. “It’s my favorite Diwali outfit yet.” Photo courtesy of Srikha Manubolu.

Every year, India’s biggest holiday of the year, Diwali, is widely celebrated for both its religious and cultural importance. Based on the Hindu lunar calendar between October and November, Diwali falls on the darkest day of the lunar month.

Commonly referred to as the festival of lights, Diwali is a national holiday celebrated by over a billion people across India, and around the world, over five days. Diwali has countless origin stories but they all represent the victory over good and evil and the triumph of light over darkness. 

The most common origin story comes from the Hindu epic, Ramayana. According to this epic, Diwali is the day Sita, Rama, Lakshmana, and Hanuman all return to Ayodhya after being in exile for 14 years. Although Diwali’s rituals differ from country to country, region to region, and even home to home, most traditions include family gatherings, traditional sweets, and decorating the outside of homes with lit clay lamps. 

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“Diwali is one of my favorite holidays,” sophomore and co-founder of the South Asian Student Association, Srikha Manubolu said. “I love spending time with my family, dressing up, and there’s always so much good food.”

On the day of Diwali, it is common for everybody to dress up in new, traditional clothes. These clothes help symbolize a new beginning since Diwali is a part of the Hindu new year. Every year, Manubolu gets sent a new dress from her family in India for her to wear on Diwali. “It’s always so exciting opening up the package from India to see what my grandmother picked out for me,” Manubolu said.

After getting dressed up, Manubolu’s family lights diyas, which are small oil lamps, all over their house. Hindus believe this protects the family and gives them the blessings of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Diyas also symbolize the triumph of light over darkness.

After this, it is time for everybody’s favorite part of the night – dinner time. “It’s not really Diwali without all the sweets,” Manubolu said. Sweets are an essential part of Diwali celebrations. Some of the most common sweets made on Diwali are kaju katli, rasmalai, gulab jamun, halwa, and ladoos. “My mom makes the best gulab jamun on Diwali. My whole family looks forward to it every year,” Manubolu said. 

Sophomore Aryan Jakkumpudi fully agrees that sweets add to the festive mood of Diwali. “My favorite Diwali sweet is definitely kaju katli,” Jakkumpudi said. “I can finish a whole box in one sitting.”

To finish off the night, Manubolu, her younger brother, and her cousins head out to the driveway for fireworks and sparklers. “Lighting fireworks is my favorite part of Diwali,” sophomore Akash Vangala said. “My brother and I go crazy with them.” The lighting of fireworks and sparklers symbolize the victory of light over darkness and adds to the festive mood of Diwali. “We all take turns lighting up fireworks,” Manubolu said. “It’s honestly just the perfect way to end the night.”

No matter how Diwali is chosen to be celebrated, it brings people together and is always a great time.“I really love Diwali because it makes me feel so connected with my culture,” Manubolu said. “It’s a very wholesome holiday.”

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About the Contributor
Riya Cherukuri, Staff Writer
Riya Cherukuri is a sophomore and a first year staffer on The Blaze. In her free time, Cherukuri enjoys baking desserts. Cherukuri also spends her time playing softball for Rock Ridge. She was motivated to play because her brother played baseball, so being on the field felt just right. Cherukuri hopes to continue playing in college.

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