Friday, December 7, 2007
Poetry Wednesday-FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
Poetry Wednesday-FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS magnify
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Today’s the `Festival of Lights’ all o’er;
A joyful day for minds and hearts and souls;
And people throng the Temples to offer,
Prayers, resolving to take better roles.
And most of them are richly clad and clean,
And eat such dainty foods and sweets with mirth;
Whilst noisy crackers burst, their lights are seen,
It seems to be a happy day on Earth!
But are there not hearts woe-filled, very sad?
Denied of laughter, smiles for days;
Today’s the triumph of Good over bad;
But what about the wastage in much ways?
True joy is when you see someone else smile!
True charity gives joy in Heav’nly style.
Dr John Celes
A LITTLE DIFFERENT POEM BUT I THINK VERY RELEVANT FOR THIS HOLIDAY TIME OF YEAR-OTHER CULTURES ALSO HAVE FESTIVALS THAT HAVE BEEN AROUND MUCH MUCH LONGER THAN OUR CHRISTMAS
The Tradition of Lights
The Tradition of Lights
The Diwali illuminations with lighted diyas bring the supernatural brightness and joy with the hope of finding light in darkness, achieving knowledge where there is ignorance, and spreading love amidst hatred. Diwali is also known as the Festival of Lights. Light is significant in Hinduism because it signifies goodness. So, during the Festival of Lights, 'deeps', or oil lamps, are burned throughout the day and into the night to ward off darkness and evil.
Homes are filled with these oil lamps, candles and lights. Some people use decorated light candles, some decorated diya or clay lamps, and other decorative lights and put them in their windows for the festival. Traditionally people use 'earthen lamps' with cotton wicks and oil to light up the dark night. As man progresses, tradition gives way to modernity. Similarly, earthen lamps have replaced candles of various colors and forms. Electric lights of different shapes and sizes illuminate the dark, cold nights of Diwali
The idea behind the Festival of Lights comes from various versions of an ancient Hindu story. In northern India, the tale tells about the holy Lord Rama's return from a twelve-year exile and the celebration by the people for their beloved hero. The pious and rejoicing people decorated their city with candles and lights to welcome him back. In southern India, the story talks of the Goddess Durga's triumph over the evil demon Narakasura. This triumph of good over evil brought back the light of knowledge and truth to mankind.
In the city, as elsewhere, Diwali celebrations have become contemporary in keeping with the changing times. Until a decade ago, most city households used to illuminate their houses with the warm, sparkling bright lights of earthen lamps. But now, in addition to these diyas, wax candles of various colours and forms and colored electric bulbs of different shapes and sizes are illuminated soon after dusk.
Those who have a fancy for different types of earthen lamps can opt for handi lamps (earthen lamps shaped as handis or bowls). Some of these handi lamps with the designer touch, with innovative designs glittering and sparkling on them, are sold by a few women from their home boutiques. Then there are also the star-shaped earthen diyas that hold a large quantity of oil and five wick in one lamp and are available at roadside stalls. Corners of rooms and puja rooms can be decorated and lighted up with brass, copper or metal lamps.
Candles also offer a wide choice. There are the regular rod-shaped candles available in small, medium and large sizes at all roadside kiosks and shops. For those looking for designer candles, there are the flower-shaped and heart-shaped floating candles in soft hues. These scented candles when placed in glass bowls filled with water will float and burn for about two-and-a-half hours. Besides, the stores also has a collection of glass gel candles that burn for days together and are drip-free.
I THINK THIS IS A WONDERFUL FESTIVAL