Diwali is one of the most celebrated festivals in India. It is celebrated in November and is also known as the
Festival of Lights. Diwali gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Hindus use to light their
homes during this five day celebration. The light that emanates from the lamps are meant to symbolize the
inner light that protects people from darkness or evil. Hindus celebrate with delicious food and fireworks and
decorate their homes with colored sand (rangoli) and special lamps.
Over the years, Diwali has begun to be celebrated by non-Hindu communities such as Jains, Sikhs and
Buddhists. For example, for Jains, Diwali symbolizes the spiritual awakening of Lord Mahavira on October 15,
527 BC while in Sikhism, this celebration commemorates the day their sixth guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, was
freed from imprisonment.
Diwali is also celebrated differently in different parts of India. In South India, Diwali is celebrated as the day
that Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura while in North India, they celebrate King Rama’s return to
Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana. In Western India, this festival marks the day that Lord Vishnu sent the
demon king, Bali, to rule the abyss.
So this Diwali, let’s light up the lives of the children of Akshaya Patra by
providing them with the gift of a nutritious meal that will pave the way for a
brighter and prosperous future for all.