Diwali is a weeklong fest celebrated throughout India by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. The week is awaited by all with much excitement and fervour. It is known as the Festival of Lights and sees a mesmerizing display of fireworks with mouth watering delicacies. The festival is celebrated in honour of the victory of good over evil. It is linked to the legend of Ramayana, where Lord Rama defeats the ferocious King Raavan to rescue his wife being held by Raavana. The day when the Lord is victorious and returns to his kingdom is celebrated by the people with a grand homecoming lasting for a week. This has been celebrated as Diwali ever since and till date is regarded an enthralling week, much awaited by the young and the old. There are various versions of the legend behind Diwali for different religions but the main idea is the triumph of good over evil and light overcoming darkness.
The whole country will be welcoming Diwali with much zeal and enthusiasm. You can see the nation sparkling and bursting with light on this eventful day. Such is the exhilaration and passion that the festival imparts throughout the nation. The festival has now crossed the boundaries of India and gone overseas. Foreign countries are now eager to celebrate Diwali with the same pomp and gaiety, by taking a leaf out of our book. It has taken the culture and traditions of our country across the globe and widened the audience of Indian culture.
Last year, the French celebrated Diwali and Navratri as part of the mega Indian Cultural Festival. A special Navratri festival was also organised for 9 days. It saw beautiful dandiya and garba performances by talented artists from India. The Festival of Lights is to be celebrated in the City of Lights this year too, which is truly a marvelous prestige. France has certain rules and regulations regarding bursting of fireworks in the streets. This has not stopped the authorities and the citizens from celebrating Diwali. People light candles, decorate their homes and prepare a feast. They share sweets, meet their loved ones and exchange gifts. The Indian communities in France come together in places of worship and light the candles to mark the day of victory. The Namaste France program conducted last year saw brilliant musicians, dancers and instrumentalists who set the stage on fire. Paris being the cultural capital of France was very enthusiastic in welcoming the festival.
Diwali this year in France is planned to be celebrated in a more grandeur manner with interesting programs of dance, drama and musicals. On this day, the city sees decorated houses and crowded streets with the people lighting candles to honour the festival of lights. The cultural heritage of India has travelled across the seas bringing glory and fame to the traditional practices. Diwali in France is being planned to be celebrated as next to Christmas with the same enthu and decor.
Ayurveda and homeopathy in healthcare are already making rounds in the world, spreading the ancient heritage of India. Going hand in hand with this is the amazing festival of Diwali- taking the cultural treasure of India to an international level. This Diwali will also see lights glowing in France, a day of fun and excitement for the French to indulge themselves in this new and unique festival.