Malaysia is known as a multi-cultural country with a diverse mix of cultural traditions. That is why you don’t have to be Hindi to join in the Deepavali celebrations.
What is Deepavali about?
Deepavali or Diwali is known as the Festival of Lights. There are said to be many different stories about the origin of the festival, but in Malaysia, it is celebrated as the day Lord Krishna killed the evil demon Narakasura, symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.
The Festival of Lights
Celebrated on the last day of the month on the lunar calendar, it is also the darkest day of the year and is lit up by the abundance of light. Small clay lamps which are filled with coconut oil and wicks are burned throughout the day and into the night to ward off darkness and evil. Fireworks and firecrackers are also lit to scare off away the evil spirits as well as contribute to the festive atmosphere.
Leading up to Deepavali, shopping has to be done for new clothes and for the making of traditional Indian goodies.
The preparation of the food is usually done by the women in the family while the rest of the family decorate and clean the house. The house is cleaned to welcome Laxmi, the goddess of prosperity.
theAsianparent reader Naren Narasiah believes that when it comes to tradition, most Hindus in Malaysia practise similar things.
He says that people usually wake up very early on Deepavali day to take an oil bath that is done to cleanse one of impurities of the past year. After that, his family usually goes to the temple then to the graveyard to offer prayers and remembrance to family who have passed away.
His family would later go back home for a traditional Indian breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The second day of Deepavali is usually when Naren hosts or visits friends and family at different Deepavali open house. The concept of an open house is seen as an event where people of all races come by to mingle and celebrate Deepavali.
“In our family with cousins and uncles and aunts, it is a few days of singing dancing, eating and catching up with distant family and welcoming of new family members as in babies or married into,” he says.
Naren also visits the orphanages and less fortunate with his family to share the joy of Deepavali with them.
From all of us at theAsianparent.com, we wish our readers a very Happy Deepavali / Diwali!