Diwali is the festival of lights. It comes from the word Deepawali. Deep=lamp, awali=line. The most popular legend is of Lord Rama returning to Ayodhya after 14 year exile. Its believed that the people of Ayodhya lit lamps and the whole city glimmered as Raam entered Ayodhya. Diwali is also a kind of post-harvest festival. Traditionally, folks clean their houses, paint them and its like an annual overhaul. Traditional Indian financial comes to an end on Diwali, and account books are closed. (source: the India South Sound Association)
[mp3] Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay: "
from Bhakti: The Sound of the Soul
We've talked plenty about Ramadan. So much, in fact, that my Tanzanian friend Alex is getting annoyed at everyone who wished him a Happy Ramadan (I suspect he was actually embarrassed at not observing the fast). So you know that it's the Muslim holy month in which Muhamed received the first chapters of the Quran. It ends with Eid al-Fitr, a festival marking the breaking of the fast.
Eid ul-Fitr is a joyful celebration of the achievement of enhanced piety. It is a day of forgiveness, moral victory and peace, of congregation, fellowship, brotherhood and unity. Muslims are not only celebrating the end of fasting, but thanking God for the help and strength that they believe he gave them throughout the previous month to help them practice self-control. (Wikipedia)
[mp3] La Sulamiyya: "
from Chants Soufis de Tunis