Well, at least if one is in India (and perhaps Edison, NJ ... :-) Or "Diwan Sreet" in Chicago. Or Jackson Heights, NY)
So, in the sequence of things:
- Yesterday was "Dhan Teras" ("Wealth 13th") where devout Hindus worship the goddess of wealth, Laxmi.
- Today is "Kali Chaudas" ("Kali/Dark 14th"). I guess some worship of Kali might be involved ... but I don't recall anything of that nature.
- Tomorrow is Diwali, the festival of lights, the day the triumphant Ram entered Ayodhya after a fourteen-year exile, having defeated the power of evil.
- Sunday is a "khado" -- a hole -- in the lunar calendar, a filler day, with no date.
- Monday is "Bestu Varas" -- the New Year for many Hindus.
- Tuesday is "Bhai Beej" ("Brother Second") -- a day for sisters to honor their brothers.
And Wednesday ... like last year ... is Eid-ul-Fitr, the end of the thirty days of Ramzaan (to use the Indian spelling). Whenever there is a confluence of major Hindu and Muslim holidays, one always worries about sectarian violence. Let it not be so, and let both communities celebrate in peace!
Here's what I put up last year for Diwali.
This year's message from the Holy See to Hindus:
2. The reality of love is closely connected to truth, light, goodness and life. I would like to reflect on this theme of love, through which believers of different religions are invited to overcome the evil of hatred and distrust in contemporary society. The recent terrorist bomb attacks in Mumbai, India, are yet another example of these phenomena which so often end in brutal violence. I am sure that, enriched in the light of our particular religious traditions, our resolve to invite all believers to overcome hatred by love will benefit society at large. My own reflection is inspired by the first Encyclical letter of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Deus caritas est (God is Love). The Pope wrote this letter, convinced that his message is both timely and significant “in a world where the name of God is sometimes associated with vengeance or even a duty of hatred and violence ” (n. 1).[snip]
5. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI ends his letter, Deus caritas est, with the following words: “Love is the light – and in the end, the only light – that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working” (n. 39). The Pope’s words obviously refer to Jesus Christ who is the Light of the world. However, these words can also draw your attention since for you the meaning of your feast, Diwali, is symbolized by light. May our love finally overcome the darkness of hatred in the world! Happy Diwali to you, my dear Hindu friends!Diwali Mubarak! Nutanvarshabhinandan!