This week more than a billion people around the world will participate in Diwali festivities, often known as the Festival of Lights. One of the largest celebrations across India, this five-day celebration is marked by the lighting of dozens of candles and clay lamps or diyas throughout homes and streets to light up the dark. It can also involve some truly impressive fireworks displays!
The term Diwali derives from the Sanskrit term Deepavali, which originated over 2,500 years ago and literally means “row of lights.” Linked to multiple stories in religious texts, the festival centers around the triumph of good over evil, the movement to light from darkness, and each day holds a different significance. It is a time for families, friends, and neighbors to come together to share fellowship and enlightenment and to enjoy rich meals, exchange gifts, and give thanks for the blessings that everyone has.
As with many poignant celebrations of this type, there is a valuable message for us all in the message of Diwali, regardless of our own personal beliefs. It is important to remind ourselves to embrace positivity, to let go of bad habits, to have patience on life’s journey, and, particularly, to bring joy to the lives of others. Taking a few days to reflect on how we might show appreciation, support, and kindness to those around us is always a good use of our time. It is a fundamental element of what we encourage all those within our Saint Mary’s School community to embrace.
To all those who are celebrating this week, as well as to those who are not, my wish for you is that this festival of lights brings you peace, prosperity, success, and health.
Adam Holden, Ed.D.
Interim Head of School