Diwali celebrations bring light and joy

The Trinity College School community had the chance to experience the “Festival of Lights” as students led Diwali celebrations on Monday, October 24th and Tuesday, October 25th. Through the Senior School’s Cultural Awareness Group, the students shared traditions associated with this significant holiday in Indian culture.

In morning chapel service on Monday, Grade 11 student Ashwin Sanjay explained the foundation of Diwali (also known as Deepavali or Divali): “Today is Diwali, an auspicious celebration in the Indian culture. According to Hindu mythology, a famous king, Lord Ram, returned home from exile of 14 years and the people of his kingdom welcomed him by lighting up their houses with earthen lamps. It is India's biggest and most important celebration of the year, celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs all around the world. We celebrate Diwali to honour the triumph of light over darkness.”

Ashwin went on to explain, “In a regular household during Diwali, people prepare by cleaning, renovating and decorating their homes and workplaces with Diyas (earthen lamps) and rangoli. People often get together and celebrate and enjoy sumptuous meals, wear new clothes and pray for prosperity.”

The celebration at TCS began on Monday night, when students were invited to gather in front of the Memorial Chapel to light sparklers and candles. Then, on Tuesday afternoon, Cirne Commons was a hub of activity as students participated in a rangoli art activity, had the chance to receive henna tattoos from students Jayne Acharya and Sajal Billing, and were treated to sweets called gulab jamun. For lunch on Tuesday, the culinary services team served up a delicious meal of chicken or vegetable biryani, naan and samosas, while the dinner menu included vindaloo, chana masala and kadai chicken.

Mrs. Rachel Stephens, faculty advisor to CAG, said how wonderful it was to see “students from diverse backgrounds coming together” in a “fun-filled atmosphere for talking, relaxing, learning and creativity.” Ms. Pavit Mann, staff liaison with CAG, supported this event, sharing her understanding of Indian culture.

Thank you to the students and to the staff members and departments who collaborated on these events; your contributions are greatly appreciated. Students learned a great deal about Indian culture and the traditions of Diwali, and also felt a renewed sense of community.