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Deepavali

Deepavali is also known as Diwali in both India and Sri Lanka. Deepavali is mostly celebrated by the Sri Lankan Tamils. Deepavali Festival means many rituals and lighting off small lamps to banish off all shadows from one’s house and life. It is also termed as the Festival of Lights. This festival has a sublime significance, for it symbolizes the victory of good forces over evil forces.

Sri Lanka has a large number of Tamil inhabitants. Therefore, Diwali celebrations here are pretty much like the celebrations in Tamil Nadu, India. In Sri Lanka, Hindu temples come alive with lights and decorations. Small lamps are lighted everywhere as a symbol of eliminating the evil shadows of the world.

In Sri Lanka, the festival of Diwali is celebrated by the Tamil Hindu community scattered in different areas of the island. Prominent Hindu temples here include the Nallur Temple in the island’s Northern Jaffna peninsula and Koneshwaram Temple of the island’s eastern sea front town Trincomalee. In close proximity to Koslanda, the landscape around is dotted with good number of Hindu temples.

From dressing up in their fineries to bursting crackers, the Sri Lankan Hindus are no different in celebrating Diwali with pomp and fervour.

Significance of Diwali

There are several legends associated with the festival of Diwali. These tales have been passed down through generations. One of the most popular is the legend associated with King Rama. It is believed that he returned to Ayodhya after 14 long years of exile. The inhabitants of Ayodhya were overjoyed at the return of their King so they lit up their homes and distributed sweets to one another.

Another legend states the killing of Narakasura, an evil ruler in Assam. Narkasura was killed by Lord Krishna, but before dying he requested a boon that his death should be celebrated with colourful lights. Therefore, the second day of Diwali – Naraka Chaturdashi commemorates this event in history signifying the victory of good over evil.

There are many more such legends that have been narrated over the years about events in history that are associated with the Diwali celebrations.

 

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