This is the weekend of Diwali - The Festival of Light and even though it's officially on Tuesday many people here in the US celebrate it over the weekend.
Diwali is the most important holiday in India and for millions of Indians around the world. It is also known as the "Festival of Lights". To learn more please click here.
The time of Diwali is a very colorful festive season with many candles in form of oil lamps made of clay, the so-called Diyas or Dipa Lights. These Diya lights (or Ghee Lamps) are placed in and around houses, in hallways, courtyards and in the streets, guiding the pathways to homes and houses for Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, prosperity and beauty. The religious worshiping of Hindu Goddess Lakshmi in form of Lakshmi Puja takes place in temples and homes. Also Hindu God Ganesh, easily recognized by his elephant head, is being worshiped during Diwali for a lucky new beginning in life and to overcome obstacles. Children are bursting firecrackers and fireworks illuminating the skies over many Indian cities.
Diwali is the best time of the year in the Indian culture, especially for children. There are a lot of sweets, a lot of food to be eaten and also little presents being exchanged. Diwali is a 5 day festival, starting 2 days before New Moon in the month Ashvin and ending 2 days after New Moon in the month Kartika on the Hindu lunar calendar. In the western calendar (Gregorian calendar) Diwali varies in date, usually between end of October and beginning of November. The 5 days of Diwali have different meanings and there are many historical legends in Hinduism associated with them. Learn more about the Days of Diwali here. Not only is Diwali being observed by Hindus, but also by Jains, Sikhs and even some Buddhists. It is the major event of the year, celebrated all over India, but also in Nepal, Burma and Sri Lanka, as well as in other countries with a high population of people with Indian heritage. These countries include the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, South-Africa, Mauritius, Trinidad, Fiji and many more.
I was in LA last Sunday and experienced a short version of the concert we are going to experience... it is going to have a lot of fire to it and very energetic percussion. The mandolin is a very percussive instrument and because it's 2 percussion instruments and one string instrument the percussive element will be strong. Lot's of energy, magical interaction between the musicians and a jam session with all drummers at the end. What a unique experience!
~ Daniel Hirtz
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