October 24, 2022 3:00am
Monday is a major holiday for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Newar Buddhists, and the University of Windsor is hosting a special celebration.
The Belonging, Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity Institute on campus is celebrating Diwali.
“It celebrates the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and spiritual enlightenment,” said student Anumita Jain.
At noon on Monday in the University of Windsor Student Center Commons, the celebration commenced with the lighting of a small clay oil lamp. It will continue on Friday with a traditional feast, Bollywood dancing, and henna.
The festival usually lasts five days and is celebrated between mid-October and mid-November. It is often associated with the Goddess of Prosperity, Lakshmi, and Ganesha, the God of Wisdom and Remover of Obstacles.
Jains observe their festival marking the final liberation of Mahavira, a sixth-century preacher who is said to have attained enlightenment after 12 years of intense meditation.
Sikhs have their version of Diwali, celebrating the release of Guru Hargobind from a Mughal prison, an Islamic empire in India, during the 16th to 19th centuries.
Diwali’s history dates back at least a thousand years and is mentioned in early Sanskrit texts.