The sparkling celebration of Diwali -@Greenwood Hasanparhty

The sparkling celebration of Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights which is an auspicious and widely celebrated festival in India and among Indian communities worldwide,on November 12, 2023, at Greenwood School, Hasanparthy, Hanumakonda, encapsulated cultural richness and joy highlighting the school’s commitment to embracing diversity and fostering a spirit of exclusivity among students and staff.The festival was commemorated with great zeal and enthusiasm, reflecting the cultural richness and significance of this joyous occasion.

Diwali holds immense cultural, religious, and historical significance for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and some Buddhists. The festival symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. It is a time when people come together, exchange greetings, and share joy with the lighting of oil lamps (diyas), colorful decorations, feasting, and the burning of fireworks.

1. Return of Lord Rama : One of the most popular stories linked with Diwali is the return of Lord Rama, along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, to their kingdom Ayodhya after, 14 years of exile, defeating the demon king Ravana. The people of Ayodhya illuminated their path and the entire city with lamps to welcome their beloved prince and celebrate his return and the victory of good over evil.

2. Goddess Lakshmi’s Worship: Diwali also marks the worship of Goddess Lakshmi,the goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is believed that on the night of Diwali, Goddess Lakshmi visits homes that are well-lit and clean and bestows wealth and prosperity upon those who welcome her with clean, brightly lit homes.

3. Religious Significance : For Jains, it marks Lord Mahavira attaining nirvana, while Sikhs celebrate it as Bandi Chhor Divas, signifying the release of Guru Hargobind Ji and several Hindu kings from imprisonment.

4. The Triumph of Lord Krishna: For some, Diwali celebrates the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon Narakasura, signifying the triumph of good over evil.

The story of Satyabhama and Narakasura is an interesting mythological tale connected with Diwali. According to Hindu mythology, Narakasura was a powerful demon king who ruled the kingdom of Pragjyotishpur. He had gained immense power through a boon but became arrogant and tyrannical, causing chaos and terrorizing both humans and celestial beings.

Narakasura’s power grew to such an extent that he even imprisoned 16,000 women, including Satyabhama, the wife of Lord Krishna. Unable to bear the atrocities committed by Narakasura, Satyabhama sought Lord Krishna’s help and urged him to defeat the demon.

Lord Krishna, accompanied by Satyabhama, went to battle against Narakasura. The battle between Lord Krishna and the demon king raged fiercely. Narakasura was a formidable adversary, and the fight lasted for a prolonged period. Eventually, Lord Krishna emerged victorious, slaying Narakasura and freeing all the captives, including Satyabhama.

The defeat of Narakasura brought an end to his reign of terror, symbolizing the victory of good over evil. It is believed that this event occurred on the day before Diwali. The people rejoiced in the triumph of Lord Krishna and celebrated his victory by lighting lamps, bursting fireworks, and spreading joy and happiness throughout the kingdom.

Hence, the day when Narakasura was defeated by Lord Krishna is commemorated as Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali, which is observed on the fourteenth day of the dark fortnight in the Hindu month of Ashwin. It precedes the main day of Diwali and signifies the triumph of righteousness and the eradication of evil forces, contributing to the overall celebration of the Festival of Lights.

At Greenwood School, Diwali was commemorated with great fervor. The celebrations began with the adornment of the school premises with vibrant rangolis, decorative lights, and traditional embellishments. Students and teachers were engaged in cultural programs.

Spiritual Elevation – Puja Dedicated to Lakshmi Devi and Saraswathi Maatha : Greenwood School exuberantly celebrated Diwali with elaborate decorations and a sacred Puja ceremony dedicated to Lakshmi Devi and Saraswathi Maatha. The school radiated with vibrant colors and intricate decorations, setting the stage for a spiritually enriching experience. Students and staff came together to perform the Puja, offering prayers, hymns, and reverence to the divine goddesses, symbolizing prosperity, knowledge, and wisdom. This solemn yet festive occasion showcased the school’s commitment to honoring tradition and spirituality.

Creative Engagements – Workshops and Shared Joy : The school organized various creative workshops for students, including making Diwali greeting cards, crafting diyas, and creating thematic artworks. Traditional sweets and snacks were shared among students and staff, fostering a sense of unity and joy.

Moreover, the school emphasized responsible celebration, organizing sessions on minimizing, promoting eco-friendly practices by minimizing the use of fireworks, and advocating for the use of natural materials in decorations.

Enchanting Spectacle – Fireworks : Greenwood School, a display of fireworks added an enchanting spectacle to the festivities. Students and staff gathered in a designated area adorned with colorful lights and decorations to witness the breathtaking display. The burst of vibrant colors and crackling sounds of fireworks illuminated the night sky, filling the atmosphere with joy and excitement.

This lively showcase of fireworks symbolized the triumph of light over darkness, spreading cheer and delight among everyone present, while adhering to safety measures and ensuring a memorable and safe celebration for all.

Throughout the celebrations, our Honourable Director Sri. Dr. G. Bharadwaja Naidu sir, Greenwood General Manager – Sri. A. Prabhu kumar sir, Academic Principal – Sri. VVV Naveen Kumar sir, Administrative Principal – Sri. T. Pavan Kumar sir and Vice Principal V. Suresh Kumar sir took active part in guiding the teachers, other staff and students for all arrangements for the celebration and its grand success.

Conclusion : Diwali at Greenwood School, Hasanparthy, Hanumakonda, was not just a festival; it was an occasion where students learnt about the rich cultural heritage of India, fostering unity, joy, and a sense of responsibility towards the environment while celebrating this auspicious festival of lights. Students, staff and the management rejoiced in the spirit of Diwali with great enthusiasm, embracing the cultural, religious, and historical importance of this vibrant festival. It served not only as a festival but also as an educational and cultural experience.

Report by: G Krishna Rao (Teacher of English)

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