The sweet smell of flowers
The array of colours
Diwali is here
Firecrackers are heard
Candles are lit
Presents are given
We pray to the gods
Diwali is here.
– Suprina Balasubrumanian, age 11 (from www.diwalifestival.org)
Diwali, also known as Deepawali, is one of the world’s greatest religious and cultural celebrations, a five-day outburst of joy, colour and goodwill. The ‘festival of lights’ symbolises the victory of light over darkness and the triumph of good over evil.
In 2020, the day of Diwali falls tomorrow, 14 November. Hindu communities worldwide will light lamps and place them around their homes to ward off evil; bring health and wealth; and guide the spirits of one’s ancestors.
Travel retailers, particularly in India and in global locations that enjoy strong Indian and other Hindu passenger traffic, are always keen to celebrate the occasion. There are not too many such celebrations this year given the pandemic’s impact on passenger traffic but amid so much darkness in the world, the spirit of Diwali is perhaps more important than ever to our sector.
The image above – and a nicely appropriate message – comes from Dubai travel retailer and distributor Organico Travel Retail, part of The SEVA Group. “A chance to reflect and celebrate the triumph of light over dark and new beginnings for us all – perfect timing,” says Organico on LinkedIn. No-one would disagree.