With ‘India’ as a Partner Country for the Mindanao Food Congress, the India Business Forum (IBF) is pleased to organize Indian Cultural and Food Night for Guests and Participants on the first day of the event on Wednesday, 26 October 2022 to mark the celebration of Diwali, the Festival of Lights.
Diwali, India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year, is a Festival of Lights that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and the human ability to overcome.
Diwali is a post-harvest festival celebrating the bounty following the arrival of the monsoon in the subcontinent. It has become a national Indian festival.
The height of the five-day festival is celebrated on the third day coinciding with the darkest night of the lunar month.
Depending on the region, celebrations include prayers before one or more Hindu deities, the most common being Lakshmi.
According to David Kinsley, an Indologist and scholar of Indian religious traditions particularly in relation to goddess worship, Lakshmi symbolizes three virtues: wealth and prosperity, fertility and abundant crops, as well as good fortune.
Merchants seek Lakshmi’s blessings in their ventures and will ritually close their accounting year during Diwali.
Fertility motifs appear in agricultural offerings brought before Lakshmi by farming families, who give thanks for the recent harvests and seek her blessings for prosperous future crops.
A symbolic piece of traditional fertilizer, a dried piece of cow dung, is included in the ensemble in Odisha and Deccan region villages, an agricultural motif according to Kinsley. Another aspect of the festival is remembering the ancestors.
Rituals and preparations for Diwali begin days or weeks in advance, typically after the festival of Dusshera that precedes Diwali by about 20 days. The festival formally begins two days before the night of Diwali, and ends two days thereafter. Each day has the following rituals and significance:
During the festival, Hindus, Jains and Sikhs illuminate their homes, temples and work spaces with diyas (lamps), candles and lanterns
Hindus, in particular, have a ritual oil bath at dawn on each day of the festival.
Diwali is also marked with fireworks and the decoration of floors with rangoli designs, and other parts of the house with jhalars.
Food is a major focus with families partaking in feasts and sharing mithai.
The festival is an annual homecoming and bonding period not only for families, but also for communities and associations, particularly those in urban areas, which will organize activities, events and gatherings. Some Hindus, Jains and Sikhs will send Diwali greeting cards to families near and far during the festive season, occasionally with boxes of Indian confectionery.
Many towns organize community parades and fairs with parades or music and dance performances in parks.
Get a glimpse of India through the Diwali Festival of Lights on Wednesday, 26 October 2022, starting at 6PM at the Mindanao Food Congress Tri-Event, Limketkai Center Atrium at Cagayan de Oro City.