Diwali the Festival of Lights is fast approaching. Probably the most celebrated festival amongst Hindus and Sikhs the night of lights is given a whole new meaning in the holy town of Amritsar, India.
During our upcoming “Gems in the Desert” spiritual adventure in northwestern India we will join tens of thousands of Sikhs and Hindus on October 26th in celebrating one of India’s grandest festivals, Diwali – the Festival of Lights at the Golden Temple. It truly is an ineffable experience, one you will not want to miss. I was inspired to add this to our itinerary after being at the Golden Temple last year for Diwali.
“There was no holding back with the celebrations of Diwali at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on November 4th, 2010, night. The festival of lights lived true to its name at the Golden Temple as tens of thousands of Sikhs gathered in and around the temple complex for one of India’s largest celebrations. The entire complex had been draped in lights and it was quite a sight to behold when the lights came on. It was a little after 7pm when the fireworks started going off and what ensued the following 30 minutes was a feast for the eyes.
I found a nearby building and made my way to the roof top to get the best view possible. The main fireworks display launched from the temple complex itself but all around the temple enthusiastic Sikhs set off endless rounds of deafening crackers. Though the main fireworks organized by the temple ended after 30 minutes or so, colourful explosion could be heard and seen above for at least another 4 hours at which point I decided to retire for the night.
After the main fireworks I made my way down from the roof top of a nearby building with an excellent view and entered the temple complex. The corridors circumambulating the sacred pond were filled with pilgrims. The entire edge of the pond was lit with countless oil lamps and candles, each offered by a pilgrim celebrating the festival of lights, the victory of light over darkness.”