At this time of the year millions around the world are preparing for the triduum of Allhallowtide, which encompasses All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween), All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. For many the preparations will include stocking up on candles for the rituals and traditions that involve candlelight.
Millions more have begun another celebration, today, which also requires light; light to vanquish darkness and evil and despair. This celebration is the annual, five-day festival of lights, namely, Diwali.
Having grown up in Fiji, where Diwali has long been an honoured occasion (and now a public holiday), I have a love for Diwali which outstrips any affection I have for Allhallowtide. Seeing the houses decorated with beautiful Diwali lights was a yearly highlight of my childhood.
So, this week, in accordance with my family’s customs, I will light a Diwali candle (candles if I can find more than one).
I will listen again to the gentle singing words of Rabindranath Tagore’s Invocation to Diwali
and consider the significance of Diwali, so eloquently expressed here: “The night is black. Kindle the lamp of love with thy life and devotion.” (Rabindranath Tagore)
Until night falls, however, I will keep watch with the dear, little lights that are ever present , and need no darkness to make them shine.
And, if I can organize myself sufficiently well, I may even make a special sweet treat for Diwali; a rhubarb and apple crumble with freshly picked rhubarb from my garden.
Join me, if you will, in lighting a candle, for the night is black, and we need all the light we can get. Happy Diwali and may the light of the lamp burn brightly in all our hearts.