NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013

NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013
Shri Ramapir Mandir/Temple in Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hindu community celebrates Diwali in Pakistan

By Krishna Jaipal (PHP Lahore)
Friday, November 12, 2010
ISLAMABAD : The Hindu community living across the country on Friday celebrated their religious festival of Diwali in a traditional way at their religious places.

Federal Minister for Minorities' Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti felicitated Hindus on their Festival of Lights, Colors and Happiness giving the message of promoting tolerance, dialogue, understanding, cooperation, harmony and to remove misunderstandings among different faiths.

The Ministry of Minorities has announced to celebrate this festival officially to mainstream the minorities living in the country like other ten festivals of minorities including Besakhi, Diwali, Holi, Eid-i-Rizwan, Chelumjusht, Nauroze, Christmas and Easter festivals of Sikh, Hindu, Bahai, Kalash, Parsi and Christian Communities respectively.

The ministry planned to hold colorful programmes to celebrate Diwali, however, keeping the loss caused by recent floods in Pakistan, the events were arranged in a simple way.

In a message, Shahbaz Bhatti said that his ministry welcomes the minorities' guests and also gave festive look to their religious places on the occasion.

Besides resolving the issues of minorities on priority basis, the government will also table Hindu Sikh Marriage Act in the parliament soon, he said.

This year, Diwali festival is being celebrated on November 5 while the festivities last for five consecutive days i.e. two days before the Diwali festival that is known as Dhanteras and Narak Chaturdashi and Govardhan Puja and Bhai Duj respectively.

The festival is connected with deep rooted cultural values of Hindu religion. People wake up early in the morning, wear new clothes, offer their prayers and touch the feet of their elders and in return elders give them Diwali gifts.

Celebration of the festival begins with the exchange of Diwali gifts. Generally the eldest members of the family bring clothes for the young members and the young members bring some sweets for the member younger to them and the exchange of Diwali gifts thus follows a hierarchy.

On the third day of Diwali, Hindus offer special prayers while Clay Diyas, candles, lamps and fire work are lit to mark the jubilations and seek blessings of well being and good fortune.

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