Diwali to be observed on Sunday

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, October 24, 2019

This year, Diwali will be observed on Sunday, October 27.

Pamela Nauth, the Technical Officer at the Department of Social Cohesion, noted that the Hindu Core Group “was able to reach a consensus and said ‘we will go with what is the correct way’. So, they went back to their calendars and saw when it would be the darkest night and chose that date. So, yes we have one observance this year.”

Diwali is also known as the ‘Festival of Lights, is celebrated to honour Lord Rama, who it is believed on this day returned to his people after 14 years of exile during which he fought and won a battle against the demons and the demon king, Ravana.

The date for Diwali changes every year as it is calculated by the position of the moon on the darkest night and the 15th day of the Hindu month of Kartik which either occurs in October or November.

However, for the past years, the two major Hindu Groups differ on the dates and opt to observe the festival on different days, but, this year, they agreed on one date.

This Hindu festival brings together Guyanese from all walks of life together. “One of the things about Diwali, it stretches across religions and cultures. People participate in it so it’s one of the activities that bring people together and at the Department of Social Cohesion we are always excited about people coming together,” Nauth noted.

A lot of the activities surrounding Diwali also bring people together Ramlila, Rangolis, motorcades, pageants and other activities countrywide are enjoyed and celebrated by a wide cross-section of Guyanese.

Nauth is reminding persons that the observance is a religious one for the Hindus, and in this regard, she is encouraging persons to desist from using firecrackers in a manner that can harm or cause great discomfort to others.

The most significant Hindu Festival of Diwali is observed by more than one billion people worldwide.

The annual Diwali Motorcade will be held on Saturday, October 26, while Monday, October 23 has been declared a Public Holiday.

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