Divali is the festival of lights which is celebrated by Hindus around the world. Divali symbolizes good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.
In the early days, Hindus celebrated this festival in a very small way. They made at least five deyas (small clay pots) per household, filled it with coconut oil or Ghee (clarified butter) and a wick made of wool was placed in it. Now, the lighting ofdeyas is a spectacular sight. Families, communities, even those who are not Hindu, participate in this enlightening, uplifting occasion. Deyas are atop creatively bent bamboo frames constructed in savannahs and other open spaces or simply arrayed in the driveways of homes.
Before the lighting, Hindus undergo a period of fasting, praying for the blessings of Mother Lakshmi on their homes. On the day Divali is observed, pujas or Hindu prayers are done. After, there is a Hindu feast – food and delicious Indian sweets are distributed to others in the community.
The observance is based on Hindu scripture: the return of Lord Rama, along with his wife Sita from his fourteen-year-long exile and his vanquishing the demon Rawan. In joyous celebration of the return of their king, the people of Ayodhya, the Capital of Rama, illuminate the kingdom with deyas.
The National Council of Indian Culture is a Non-Governmental Organization geared towards the preservation and development of East Indian culture in Trinidad and Tobago. The celebration of light over darkness has been given greater significance because of the perseverance and determination of the members of the National Council of Indian Culture who have been devoting much time and effort in the promotion of Indian Culture that has culminated in the establishment of the Divali Nagar. The period of activities leading up to the actual day of celebration gives an opportunity to many artists both locally and internationally to showcase their talent and as a consequence the members of the NCIC holds Divali Nagar very dearly to their hearts.