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Divali – Holiday
October 18, 2019
Celebrated in October or November according to the moon, this Hindu lunar festival of lights honours Mother Lakshmi (goddess of light, beauty, riches, and love), and also celebrates the return of Lord Rama from exile. The thousands of beautiful flickering deyas, which are lit across the country by Hindus and non-Hindus alike, illuminate his path. Felicity, in central Trinidad, is among the most popular venues.
In the days leading up to Divali (a public holiday) — celebrated during the month of Karthik on the Hindu calendar — Trinidadians of all ethnicities and religions visit the Divali Nagar site in Chaguanas, and hundreds take part in the ritual lighting of deyas at dusk on the day itself.
The Ramleela, theatrical re-enactments of stories from the Hindu scriptures, takes place just before Divali (usually in October). It is a nine-day, outdoor festival dramatising the life of Rama with music, dancing, colourful costumes … and an explosive finale! Also known as Ramdilla and Ramlila, the best-known productions are held in Couva and Felicity. Hundus and other patrons across Trinidad attend the outdoor spectacles, which involve bright costumes and an epic finale.