The festival of lights which symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness is indeed a significant observance for all of our citizens. Divali is celebrated by Hindus around the world and here in Trinidad and Tobago we have a special way of celebrating religious festivals together.
Divali was made a public holiday in 1966 and every year we see diyas lit like stars in the sky. In every community we celebrate with our Hindu brothers and sisters. We look forward to taking our children to partake in the celebrations by lighting diyas placed on the creative and well-crafted bamboo displays.
The origins of Divali are based both on harvesting festivals and on the legends of India. Wealth and prosperity in an agrarian society like India was reflected at harvest time. The harvesting of crops meant prosperity for all. The end of the harvest and the start of a new one symbolized the beginning of a Hindu New Year. The triumph of good over evil by the Lords defeating the demons is reflected in the celebration of light over darkness.
Accompanying this rich religious and cultural history and these beautiful lights is the delicious Divali cuisine. Roti, curry channa, potato, chataigne, mixed vegetables, dhal, choka and mango talkari are some of the savoury dishes that are shared at Divali celebrations. The sweet tasting parsad, ladoo, barfi, goolab jahmoon, kurma and ras gulla are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
We are truly blessed to enjoy this celebration together with the Hindu community and we commend the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC) formed in 1964, for its outstanding work with regard to Divali Celebrations. We look forward to keeping the Divali festival alive in Trinidad and Tobago for the benefit of all.
The People's National Movement joins with the Hindu community as we celebrate Divali, the festival of lights.
May your light so shine this Divali, so that others may see it and be inspired to be a light unto others!
Public Relations Officer
People’s national Movement