2012-11-20    Happy Diwali!

Over the past week Hong Kong's Indian and Nepalese communities have been celebrating the Festival of Diwali (pronounced "Divali").  All over Hong Kong, Indian and Nepalese shops and centres have been brightly decorated with beautiful lamps, while Indian and Nepalese people have worn their best traditional costumes.

"Diwali" means "row of lamps", oil lamps being used to signify the triumph of good over evil, and to signify the light of knowledge dispelling the darkness of ignorance. Awareness of this Inner Light produces compassion and an awareness of the oneness of all things.

Diwali has many things in common with Chinese Lunar New Year, Christmas, Easter and the Mid-Autumn festivals: the theme of light, family reunions, best clothing, a special period of celebration. Diwali in fact is the start of the Hindu Lunar Year.

Diwali is a public holiday in India, Nepal and many other places which have large Indian communities, such as Malaysia and Singapore. Diwali this year was from November 13 to November 20. Next year it will be from November 3 to November 7. Next year I hope I'm not a week late in wishing everyone Happy Diwali!