The Story of Diwali
Diwali is an Indian festival that falls between the middle of October to the middle of November each year. This year, the festival begins on 27th October and ends on 31st October. Diwali is the festival of lights and is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil. Every year on Diwali, Hindus, Sikhs and Jains light up their streets and homes with lamps to celebrate the homecoming of Rama and Sita. This is their story…
Thousands of years ago, in the city of Ayodhya in India, there was a wise and good king called Dasaratha. His eldest son, Rama, and his beautiful wife, Sita lived happily and ruled along with his other prince brothers and their wives. But one of King Dasaratha’s wives was jealous of Rama and ordered him to be banished to the forest for 14 years so that her son would be made king. The King exiled Rama to the forest and his loving wife and loyal younger brother, Lakshman, followed him.
A few years later, the demon King Ravana saw the beautiful Sita and desired her to be his wife. The demon King knew he was no match for Sita; he was a ten-headed beast with twenty arms, red eyes and yellow fangs. And so, using his magic, he created a wounded golden deer to entrap Sita. Whilst the princes hunted the deer to care for it, Ravana kidnapped Sita. Just as Rama was stalking the deer, it turned into a horrible demon and Rama knew he and Lakshman had been tricked. He returned to where he had left Sita, only to find she was missing. They immediately set off to find her.
Along the way, they came across the Monkey King Hanuman, who called upon the help of an army of monkeys and bears. After many years, Hanuman found Sita imprisoned on Ravana’s island and the monkeys, bears and princes all set off and waged a great battle against Ravana’s army; killing all the demons except Ravana himself. Each time Rama cut off one of Ravana’s terrible heads, another grew back in its place. Finally, Rama used an arrow given to him by the gods and he shot Ravana in the naval; killing him instantly.
Rama and his wife were soon reunited. Following their 14 years in exile, the princes and Sita returned home to find their whole city waiting for them. The streets were decorated with flowers and lights to guide them home. As Rama was made king, the city of Ayodhya could once again be in peace.