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Celebrating Diwali in South Africa

 

According to Wikipedia, Diwali (translated in Sanskrit as “a row of lamps”) is
“…a significant festival in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and an official holiday in India and Nepal. Adherents of these religions celebrate Diwali as the Festival of Lights. They light diyas—cotton string wicks inserted in small clay pots filled with oil—to signify victory of good over the evil within an individual.”
 
South Africa had the largest immigrant Indian community in the world a decade prior to the colonization by the United States of America. Today, the descendents of immigrant Indians account of almost one million of the country’s population, the majority being in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng provinces.
 
Of these, approximately 65% are Hindus, 15% are Muslims and 20% are Christians. The Diwali celebrations in South Africa are reportedly similar to those which take place in India.
 

 

Image credit: Hendrik Groenewald.


Diwali is known as The Festival of Lights and fireworks play a large role in the celebrations, as do burning lamps which are a traditional part of Diwali symbolism. We respectively remind you to use fireworks with care and taking into account the animals in your area.
 
Diwali in 2012 will start on Tuesday, the 13th of November and will continue for 5 days until Saturday, the 17th of November.

 

Thumbnail image info:

* Description: Taken during a Hindu prayer ceremony on the eve of Diwali
* Source: photo taken by 
Deepak Gupta (Wikipedia)
* Permission: Deepak gupta released it on 31st December 2005 under CC-BY-SA-2.0 and GFDL