Diwali celebrations - Anil explains the traditions behind the festival of light

Doing the right thing posted on 19 Oct

Diwali celebrations - Anil explains the traditions behind the festival of light

Sky Careers

We caught up with Anil Jhand, VOD Scheduler (right) to find out more about Diwali...

Diwali, also known as the ‘The Festival of Light’, is celebrated by the Sikhs, Hindus and Jains. Each religion celebrates the occasion with a common theme in mind; the triumph of light over dark and good over evil.

Samosas, pakoras, gulab jamuns and ladoos; these are just some of the things that bring me joy every year at Diwali. However Diwali isn’t just about indulging in traditional Indian dishes to the point of oblivion, for me it’s also about getting together with people, to celebrate life in the most colourful and loudest way possible.

We’ve been celebrating Diwali as a family for many years now and I can quite happily say that although we’ve grown older and times have changed, the tradition remains exactly the same…

A typical Diwali evening in the Jhand household usually begins at around 6pm and involves lighting small Indian candles known as ‘divas’ or ‘diyas’ and safely placing them in a large bowl in each of the rooms in our house. A handful of divas are also placed outside the house and the purpose of this is to get rid of any lingering negative or dark energy and replace it with good, positive vibes.

We then visit our nearest Sikh temple to say a prayer or two before lighting more divas outside the temple – this symbolizes the worshipper giving light back to the Gurus as a thank you for guiding us through the dark when times have been tough.

After a brisk walk back home from the temple, we head straight through to the kitchen and start preparing the food for the night. Five samosas, three pakoras, three gulab jamuns and a ladoo later, I make my way out in to the garden with a bag full of fireworks, spreading them out in formation ensuring they’re at a safe distance away from us.

With the help of my father and brother, we light the fireworks together, sprint back to our ‘safe zone’ (I take safety during Diwali very seriously!) and turn our eyes to the sky to enjoy the bursts of colour before us. The last firework is always the biggest and brightest one and serves a great purpose in that it is in memory of those we have lost over the years. The great thing about Diwali is that it has taught me to continue loving the people I have in my life now, but at the same time to continue cherishing the memories of those who are no longer with us.

Once the last firework fades away turning the sky from light to dark, we retreat back in to the warmth of our house to enjoy a nice warm cup of Indian tea. It’s at this point that I sneak in to the kitchen and increase my gulab jamun count from three to six, ending another year’s Diwali on a sweet note!

Happy Diwali everyone!