Deepavali, a.k.a. the Festival of Lights, is celebrated by those who embrace Hinduism.
We must confess, since neither Ruzanna nor I celebrate it, we had our reservations on designing a Deepavali Sampler; we felt we didn't know enough (aside from murukku and kolam) to do the festival justice. Since we were determined to have a sampler for each major festival in Malaysia, I dug deep and began my research into the festival and how it's celebrated in Malaysia.
We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank our Hindu friends, who had helped us to verify that our sampler reflected their beautiful culture.
Without further ado, here's our Happy Diwali Sampler:
Starting at the top, we have our very vibrant Toran hanging. It is usually used to decorate the main entrance of the home and it's believed to attract the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi and also bring good fortune to the family and guests.
In first row of boxes, we have a Hindu temple, where devotees go for prayers. This is loosely modeled after the popular Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur. After the houses are cleaned, they are decorated with Lakshmi's footsteps, the swastika sign and a kolam/rangoli to welcome Lakshmi into their homes to receive her blessings. We chose a peacock design for our kolam. At the end of the row, we have a statue of Lakshmi.
Next up is the cow, which is considered a sacred animal in Hinduism, so Hindus do not eat beef. We also have a cute little boy and girl in their kurta and lehenga and the Aum symbol, which is one of the most important symbols in Hinduism.
During Diwali, it is tradition for Hindus to take an oil bath, which is believed to remove bad luck and to purify the body and mind. And of course, we can't go without the Diwali snacks (murukku, ladoo, ghee balls and coconut candies) and food (thosai, curry, dahl and masala chai tea)! Not forgetting our oil diyas to light up the homes, too! It is the festival of lights, after all.
If the sampler is too overwhelming for you, we have some cute Deepavali minis to tide you over!
We hope you like our sampler and would love to hear your thoughts below or if you'd like to share with us on your Deepavali celebrations/ rituals. Do remember to share your stitching with us, too!
If you'd like to explore our other Festival samplers, head here.