A Diwali Giveaway: Sharing the Light CLOSED

Diwali is a festival close to my heart, and over the years I’ve borrowed from various stories and legends to create traditions for my own family. I’m not a historian, so my advanced apologies if my rendition of the Diwali story isn’t perfect!

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This year Diwali falls on November 3th. It is the grandest and most globally recognized Indian festival. (In many parts of the world it’s referred to as the ‘Festival of of Lights’.) There are many myths and legends surrounding the actual origin of Diwali, but each story carries a common thread – that good prevails over evil. We light diyas and candles to illuminate our homes and our inner selves so we can push out thoughts of negativity and hatred from within ourselves and replace them with light and love for all of mankind. 

Growing up my mom basically shared two versions of the Diwali story with us. The first was that many Hindu’s believe that Diwali was celebrated when the King Ram returned to his home in Ayodhya after rescuing his wife Sita from the evil Raavan (good prevails over evil). The second was the Sikh version of Guru Amar Das using his sharp mind and creativity to have 52 wrongfully imprisoned kings released from the jail cells of the Mughal Emperor Jahengir (again, good prevails over evil).

golden-temple-diwali{It is believed that the first brick of the Golden Temple was laid on Diwali – that is one of the reasons it is celebrated so lavishly each year!}

There are so many details for celebrating Diwali, but I’ve filtered them down into 3 basic guidelines that I use with my family:

1. During the days leading up to Diwali clean, purge, and organize your home. Most Hindus believe that the day after Diwali is the start of the fiscal new year. For this reason we clean out our homes, rid ourselves of junk, and create a fresh start. Many legends also say that Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth) will only visit your home during the festival if it is sparkling clean, and if she doesn’t visit, your financial outlook will be very bleak for the coming year. 

2. Celebrate with friends and family. Around this time of the year I try invite friends over for tea, or stop by with a treat – it’s a good way to reconnect with people and start the year off in a happy mood. It is popular to invite friends over to play cards, this is based around a legend that Shiv and Parvati played dice on Diwali one year, and the Goddess Parvati declared that those who gamble on Diwali night will be prosperous all year. (Ironically, the rest of the year gambling is a big no-no!)

3. Foster a spirit of giving and charity. Diwali is a time to celebrate the abundance in your life and share with those that are less fortunate, but it’s also a time to show your love to any and all guests who visit your home. When we were little my mom would tell us a story about the Goddess Laxmi dressing up as a beggar woman and going house to house asking for alms. The richest homes in the village turned her away, but one poor couple shared the few bites they had that evening, the following year they were showered with wealth. The point of the story really was that everyone who visits your home should be treated like God, because you never know what “character” he/she may visit you in. We even have a saying, “atithi dev bhava”, which translates to the guest is god. 

I really wanted to include my blog readers in my celebrations of Diwali this year, because you visit my virtual home sometimes daily, and you shower me with an abundance of love and positive re-enforcement when I need it most. So, I went to my friends at TELUS and asked if they could help me make the Diwali season a little more special for one of you – and they said yes! (PS: The social media team at TELUS rocks!)

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One of you lucky ducks is going to win a Samsung Galaxy S3mini phone! (only valid in Canada though – sorry) You know the drill…enter below…

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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84 Comments

  1. October 22, 2013 / 2:02 pm

    Thank you for explaining! I honestly never knew much about Diwali :)

  2. October 22, 2013 / 2:03 pm

    Oh, and my favorite gift to give people is baked goods 😉

  3. October 22, 2013 / 2:25 pm

    My favorite gift to give friends on Diwali is hand painted clay pots lit with a box of traditional sweets.

  4. October 22, 2013 / 3:57 pm

    Love finding something random that just begs to be given as a gift and then presenting it to someone. Like the time I found a Tom Selleck tank top for my moustache loving SIL :)

    • October 22, 2013 / 6:41 pm

      I love that to! I love finding something out of the blue and thinking “that reminds me of (name of friend here)” and picking it up for them just because.

  5. October 22, 2013 / 6:25 pm

    I love to make food mixes (the dry mix for muffins or soup ext) in mason jars when I am feeling creative :)

  6. October 22, 2013 / 6:36 pm

    My favorite gift to give someone is something I’ve made myself – baked goods, a baby quilt or a handmade card.

  7. October 22, 2013 / 6:38 pm

    Thank you for explaining Diwali. It’s my kind of holiday! I love the purging and cleaning, it always feels good to do that. And I love the reconnecting with old friends, we should meet for tea some time Raj. It’s been too long. Hope you are doing well :)

    • October 22, 2013 / 9:32 pm

      A tea date would be great! It has been too long since I connected with my friends in the Valley – I have been meaning to get out to see Ami so I will let you know when I’m there:)

  8. charityk
    October 22, 2013 / 7:15 pm

    i like giving people things iw on from contests:)

  9. Ashley
    October 22, 2013 / 8:08 pm

    My favourite thing to give people is hand-drawn cards made specially for them!

  10. October 22, 2013 / 8:17 pm

    My favorite gift to give to others is time. It is so easy to run out and buy something but it is much harder to slow down and make time for those you care about.

  11. Cathy C
    October 22, 2013 / 8:18 pm

    For my kids it is always tech gifts, phones, or games or accessories like headphones

  12. October 22, 2013 / 8:31 pm

    Something hand made. I love small well thought our gifts that are as unique as the person I am giving them to

  13. October 22, 2013 / 9:22 pm

    I like to DIY gifts – the downside is that sometimes, I don’t finish in time!

  14. October 22, 2013 / 9:42 pm

    I love giving people gag gifts. The tale amongst my husband’s family is that war nearly broke out once after his dad discovered they were out of Aunt Jemima syrup at breakfast one Saturday morning. As a joke, we bought him a massive jug of it from Costco and wrapped it up for Christmas one year. Any gift that makes people laugh is my favourite one to give.

  15. Natalie
    October 22, 2013 / 10:12 pm

    I often give jars of “make your own cookies” – I think that homemade gifts are something that I can do that has a lot of thought put into it.

  16. October 23, 2013 / 12:24 am

    I like to bake and cook food for people:)

  17. Lakeisha
    October 23, 2013 / 4:02 am

    Clothes and sweets, always puts a smile on anyone’s faces during festivals.

  18. Arjun Rudra
    October 23, 2013 / 9:31 am

    A giftcard to Etsy

  19. Michelle
    October 23, 2013 / 12:37 pm

    I love giving books especially to kids!

  20. Emilia
    October 23, 2013 / 1:04 pm

    I give wine to my friends and we share with each other

  21. brandon
    October 23, 2013 / 2:15 pm

    I like to give my friends concert or sporting event tickets. Have a memory instead of a material possession

  22. October 23, 2013 / 4:15 pm

    I love to give love and praises… and of course a great book is always awesome!

  23. maria
    October 23, 2013 / 4:22 pm

    Giftcards from their fave stores!

  24. October 23, 2013 / 4:23 pm

    Something handmade that I know the person will like.

  25. October 23, 2013 / 4:24 pm

    Gift cards or chocolate!!

  26. Erin
    October 23, 2013 / 4:33 pm

    I love to cook for people. I love it when I can make them something that feeds their body and soul.

  27. Jenny
    October 23, 2013 / 5:52 pm

    My favourite gift to give others is homemade food.

  28. Tina L.
    October 23, 2013 / 6:52 pm

    I usually give money or a giftcard to one of their favourite stores.

  29. October 23, 2013 / 7:41 pm

    I like to give people handmade products I’ve made or art.

  30. October 23, 2013 / 9:12 pm

    Favourite thing to give people is home-baked desserts with handwritten notes on the packages, especially around the holidays :-)

  31. Sara rai
    October 24, 2013 / 2:10 am

    I usually find something the person needs. Usually memorable ones to be cherished. Once I got these twins a tiny pillow frame toy. In each pillow I printed out a tiny picture of them hugging and put the picture in there. They both loved it. They were 3:)

  32. Harjit
    October 24, 2013 / 10:38 am

    My favorite thing to give people is my homemade butter pecan tarts. I just had a baby so this Diwali will be extra special for me. :) twitter fan@plumerea

  33. Neesha
    October 24, 2013 / 1:10 pm

    Always something that they need…. I want to help my friends and family so I try to think either a) what they need or b) what they wouldn’t do for themselves but should. Sounds very know-it-all but we usually don’t do for ourselves

  34. Jane Mehai
    October 24, 2013 / 7:33 pm

    My favourite gift to give others is an Indian box of sweets!

  35. October 25, 2013 / 12:22 am

    Hi, Raj, It was so nice to be able to read more about Diwali and the traditions that you favour. (I’m going to share this post on my BCFamily FB page and TW account.)

    I once took a box of nice cakes to friends to celebrate Diwali. In general I like giving gifts that are consumables. EG specialty foods, skincare/soaps – things that get used up. Dollars to doughnuts most people don’t tend to splurge on such items for themselves. This is why I think they make nice gifts.

  36. Pu
    October 25, 2013 / 1:03 am

    My favourite gift to give (along with my students) is a decorated clay diva decorated with paint and glitter. They look really pretty when they are lit.

  37. Tracy
    October 25, 2013 / 9:46 am

    giving money

  38. Ryan
    October 25, 2013 / 10:13 am

    chocolate

  39. MLV
    October 26, 2013 / 12:08 pm

    I keep notes to myself when my family or friends tell me something that they really like and then I’ll suprise them with it

  40. Areta
    October 26, 2013 / 7:08 pm

    Chocolate and cookies!

  41. Elena
    October 26, 2013 / 7:12 pm

    gift cards

  42. Bons
    October 26, 2013 / 8:08 pm

    Gift cards to their favourite restaurant/store.

  43. Ollie
    October 26, 2013 / 11:19 pm

    My favourite gift to others is definitely something personal to the receiver of the gift, it makes me feel its something they will remember and is personal to them!

  44. October 28, 2013 / 8:09 am

    Thanks for explaining a bit about Diwali! It’s always great to learn more about different holidays and traditions. I like to look for gifts that remind me of someone, something I think they’d like or would make them smile, and buy them. Or baked goods. Love giving those.

  45. October 28, 2013 / 5:06 pm

    My favorite gift changes….it’d be something in particular for the person I was giving it to. Recently my friend went on vacation. She sent me a beautiful photo. I took it and had it printed on canvas to gift to her. She was SO surprised and I was happy to give it to her.

  46. Tintin
    October 28, 2013 / 6:05 pm

    Baked goods

  47. SUMMER PLEWES
    October 29, 2013 / 12:25 pm

    I like to give homemade gifts.. they like to receive new lol. :)

  48. Xing
    October 29, 2013 / 2:56 pm

    I love to give gift cards!

  49. Jonnie
    October 30, 2013 / 7:27 am

    I love giving books to others as gifts

  50. Tami A
    October 30, 2013 / 8:23 am

    I love to take photos of everything and everyone and love to share with the people I capture as gifts :).

  51. Natalie S
    October 30, 2013 / 8:41 am

    I love to include chocolates with all my gifts!

  52. Katelyn F
    October 30, 2013 / 9:49 am

    Time and experiences are the best gifts to give and receive.

  53. Kat E.
    October 30, 2013 / 11:41 am

    Happy Diwali Raj!

    My favorite gift to give to others is anything homemade. Baking, jams, candles, pillows -they’re made with love and I think that’s so important!

  54. October 30, 2013 / 7:42 pm

    I love to gift people with baskets of things I know they’ll love. Choosing all the things that go into the basket is a joy. Ok. not so hot at wrapping, but when it’s all done, I love to share them.

  55. October 30, 2013 / 8:43 pm

    My favourite gift to give to others is something sentimental. :)

  56. October 31, 2013 / 1:05 am

    I’m really into homemade gifts now. Hubby says I’m slowly becoming a housewife. We’ll see about that…

  57. Brenda Penton
    November 1, 2013 / 3:20 am

    Baked goods. I love baking.

  58. Tammy Dalley
    November 1, 2013 / 3:25 am

    I love giving gift cards!

  59. Russell
    November 1, 2013 / 4:04 am

    It depends on the situation. But most times its Money or a Visa Gift Card.

  60. blessedta
    November 1, 2013 / 5:59 am

    Cookies

  61. Ariel
    November 1, 2013 / 9:01 am

    I love baking for people!

  62. November 1, 2013 / 7:53 pm

    The simple gift of your * time* is precious and sweet for others! I also like to give flowers or self sewn, or homemade items, or baked goodies. ?

  63. Sandy Trojansek
    November 2, 2013 / 4:09 am

    I love to bake cookies for family and friends as a special gift. Great contest. Thank you for explaining what Diwali is!

  64. KittyPride
    November 2, 2013 / 12:31 pm

    I like to give scented soaps and shampoos, flowers and citrus scents 😀

  65. Dayna Wilson
    November 2, 2013 / 8:59 pm

    Grab bags full of cool stuff tailored to their interests.

  66. Tammi L
    November 2, 2013 / 9:04 pm

    I love giving something I’ve made, or at the very least… something hand made if I don’t have the time or talent for what I think is appropriate!

  67. November 2, 2013 / 9:54 pm

    Hi Raj,
    Thanks for sharing the traditions that you honour each Diwali. Hope this year brings you more of what you wish for yourself and your family.

  68. Andrew P
    November 3, 2013 / 12:36 pm

    I usually just give gift cards to their favourite store

  69. Mary I
    November 3, 2013 / 3:39 pm

    I love giving handcrafted items.

  70. November 3, 2013 / 4:17 pm

    Usually we do Secret Santa so the gift is specially tailored to the receiving person. For generic gifts, I like to give tea or candles or soaps.

  71. Karla Sceviour
    November 3, 2013 / 6:15 pm

    Giftcards to their favorite store!

  72. Ei Leen
    November 3, 2013 / 9:04 pm

    I love to knit something warm & cozy as a gift

  73. roger simmons
    November 3, 2013 / 10:01 pm

    The best gift I can give someone without having a lot of money is my time and assistance.

  74. Anne Taylor
    November 3, 2013 / 10:42 pm

    I like giving home baked gifts to others!

  75. Anne Taylor
    November 3, 2013 / 10:42 pm

    I like giving home baked gifts to others!

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