Dipavali, or Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the Hindu calendar and is celebrated in the autumnal months, all over India – and especially northern and central India – with gusto. It signifies a triumph of light over darkness or a victory of good and righteousness over evil. The Sanskrit dīpāvali literally means a row or series of lights and references to its celebration can be traced to as far back as 1 BC, over 2000 years ago in the Upanishads. While the reasons for its celebration vary between the many regions of India, “all the stories associated with Deepavali, however, speak of the joy connected with the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil”, according to some anthropologists.
Ranging over five days, Diwali night falls smack in the centre of this holiday period and is always the night of Amavasya – or the moonless night. For many, the night of Diwali celebrates the return of Lord Rama from exile and following the rescue of his wife Sita from the Demon-King Ravana. For others, the night of Diwali is about honouring Laxmi – the Goddess of Wealth – who chose Vishnu as her husband on the same night.
At SUJÁN, Diwali means rolling out the celebratory spirit and really having a free run with our lanterns, lamps and diyas, across our sites. Traditional music, performed by the Manganiars – the troubadours of the desert – fills the night air and mashaals light the pathways. While the atmosphere at camps and palace are usually always festive and nocturnal feasting is a norm, Diwali nights – year on year – witness the spirit of conviviality, well-being and spontaneous fun is had in oodles by everyone travelling through on this auspicious and revelry-filled night that is such a major event in India’s calendar.