Trinidad & Tobago’s nine-day Divali celebration set for November
Both Hindus and non-Hindus celebrate the Festival of Lights
Port of Spain, Trinidad (August 9, 2007) – Hindus in India and around the globe celebrate Divali, known worldwide as the Festival of Lights. In Trinidad & Tobago where Indians make up approximately 40 per cent of the population, young and old, rich and poor celebrate the festival with colourful events and extravagant light displays. This year Divali will be observed on Friday, November 9.
The largest Hindu festival on the island, Divali is celebrated in either October or November, depending on the Hindu calendar. Marked as a national holiday in Trinidad & Tobago since 1966, Divali is the triumph of light over darkness, signified by lighting deyas (small clay lamps) on what is believed to be the darkest night of the year. Hindus celebrate Divali with a host of activities in the home where various dishes and sweets are prepared and a pooja (prayer) is performed. At dusk, everyone joins in lighting and placing the deyas around the home. This sacred festival is known to bring about positive feelings in the community marked by unity, cleanliness, harmony and festivity.
Divali celebrations in Trinidad begin nine days before the actual event. The hub of all Divali celebrations on the island is the Divali Nagar (village of lights) in Chaguanas. During those nine nights there are performances by east Indian cultural practitioners, a folk theatre featuring skits and dramas, an exhibition of Hinduism, displays by various Hindu religious sects and social organizations, nightly worship of Mother Lakshmi, lighting of myriad deyas, performances by various schools related to Indian culture, and a food court of mouth watering Indian and non-Indian vegetarian delicacies. The festival culminates with magnificent fireworks complemented by the thunder of bamboo cannons and the sparkle of star lights in villages across the country.
Although Divali is a Hindu celebration, in the multi-ethnic, multi-religious Trinidadian society, it is celebrated as a national holiday by people of all denominations. Some of the best locations to observe elaborate displays and collect Indian sweets are Felicity, Patna Village, Dow Village and Penal in central Trinidad.
Trinidad & Tobago is located in the southeastern region of the Caribbean. With their careful approach to tourism, Trinidad & Tobago offers one of the last absolutely unspoiled Caribbean destinations. Trinidad is home to the world-famous Carnival, the birth of the steel pan drum and Nobel Prize-winning author, VS Naipaul. Tobago, sister island to Trinidad, is the quintessential Caribbean island with secluded beaches, quaint villages, charming hotels and private villas.
For more information on Trinidad & Tobago contact the Trinidad & Tobago Tourism Development Company at (800) 816-7541.
For your FREE on-line Trinidad & Tobago travel guide, visit www.caribbean.com.
Disclaimer: The information in this article/release was accurate at
press time; however, we suggest you confirm all details and prices
directly with vendors.