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Celebrating Diwali in Hong Kong
Confused on how to celebrate Diwali in Hong Kong?
Diwali or ‘Festival of lights” is one of the biggest festival in India and amongst the NRI (Non Resident Indians) from all over the globe. Diwali has been celebrated in Hong Kong since a long time, but has become bigger in last few years. Many Diwali Balls and Parties are hosted by various community organizations and groups. On this auspicious day, people light up diyas (small clay lamps ) all around their house and also perform Laxmi Pooja in the evening and seek divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth. As Diwali approaches, many Hindu families ensure that their homes are clean and well lit up to escape bad luck for the upcoming year.
Amongst Jains, Diwali means the attainment of moksha by Mahavir in 527 BC and amongst Sikhs, Diwali celebrates the return of Guru Har Gobind Ji to Amritsar after freeing 52 Hindu kings imprisoned in Fort Gwalior by Emperor Jahangir. People light up fireworks and exchange Mithai’s. Some people also indulge in gambling and playing cards which has become a ‘modern tradition’. For parents in Hong Kong who want to educate their kids about Diwali, there is a nifty app by Tamarind Tots on iTunes here, and a book “Amma, Tell me about Diwali” which you can get here.
Five Days Of Diwali
The festival is celebrated for five continuous days, where the third days is celebrated as the main Diwali festival.
Sunday, 11th November 2012 – Dhanteras
The first day of Diwali is called Dhan Theras. It is in fact the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksh, the dark forthnight of the month of Kartik. On this day, Lord Dhanwantari came out of the ocean with Ayurvedic for mankind. This day marks the beginning of deepawali celebrations.
Monday, 12th November 2012 - Choti Diwali
The second day of dipawali is called Narak Chaturdasi. On this day Lord Krishna destroyed the demon Narakasur and made the world free from fear. On this day, one should massage the body with oil to relieve it of tiredness, bathe and rest so that Diwali can be celebrated with vigor and devotion.
Tuesday, 13th November 2012 - Lakshmi Puja on Diwali
On this day, Hindus cleanse themselves and join with their families and they worship the divine Goddess Lakshmi to achieve the blessings of wealth and prosperity, the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.
Wednesday, 14th November 2012 – Padwa & Govardhan Puja
Many thousands of years ago, Lord Krishna caused the people of Vraja to perform Govardhan Pooja. From then on, every year Hindus worship Govardhan to honour that first Pooja done by the people of Vraja.
Thursday, 15th November 2012 - Bhai Duj
This is the day after Goverdhan Pooja is performed and normally two days after Diwali day. It is a day dedicated to sisters. Many moons ago, in the Vedic era, Yama (Yamraj, the Lord of death) visited his sister Yamuna. From then on, brothers visit their sisters on this day to enquire of their welfare.
How to prepare for Diwali?
Step 1: Laxmi Pooja Essentials
Make sure you get the following essential ingredients for your laxmi pooja thali: Rice, Kalalava or Mouli, Sindoor, Sweets, Dry Fruits and Fruits, Betel nut and Betel Leaf and Diyas, incense sticks and fresh flowers.
Step 2: Where to buy Pooja Thalis, Mithais( Indian Sweets) & Decorative items?
Many Indians stores all over Hong Kong are currently selling the pooja thalis, along with many decorative items which can be used to ensure your homes are well lit this Diwali.
Indian Provision Store and Supermarket - Shop No. 65-67, G/F, Chung King Mansion, 36-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | 2368 2158
Morning Star - 1/F, Chung King Mansion, 36-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | 2368 2947
Indian Provision Store – 34-Bowrington Road, G/F, Wanchai | 2891 9104
SpiceStore – http://www.spicestore.hk/49-diwali-special | 2944 2336
Step 3: How to do the Laxmi Pooja?
Step 4: Where to go pray?
Kowloon Hindu Temple: 2/F, Carnavon Mansion, 8-12 Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong | 2572 5284.
Happy Valley Hindu Temple: 1B Wong Nai Chong Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong (Opposite the racecourse and next to the HK Sanatorium Hospital) | 2572 5284.
Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Hong Kong: 10/F, Block A, Burlington House, 92-94 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong | 852-3674240
Step 5: Where to celebrate?
Thursday, 15th November 2012 – Hippy Diwali Party
PLAY & HKYantoYan Presents: Hippy Diwali, a night of retro Bollywood plus Henna, Indian sweets, peace, love and happiness featuring DJ Raz and DJ Raahil spinning the best desi tunes all night long! Free entry for ladies and $200 for gentlemen(At the door). If you wish to RSVP or for more information, click here.
Entry: Ladies – Free / Men: At the Door – $200 (Ticket Includes 1 Drink)
What to Wear? : Retro/Hippy Bollywood (Don’t forget to dress up!)
Venue: Play, 1st Floor On Hing Building 1 On Hing Terrace, Central District.
Table bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org or 2525 1318
Saturday, 24th November 2012 – Diwali Rangoli Competition
Klub Raks, Legends of India & K Dynasty presents Diwali Rangoli Competition. Rangoli, is a traditional art of decorating courtyards. The term rangoli is derived from words rang (colour) and aavalli (‘coloured creepers’ or ‘row of colours’) and is an expression of this warm hospitality.
Timings: 6pm – 7:30pm
Entry: Ladies: Free for all
What to Wear? Traditional Indian Wear
Venue: 4/F, Winfield Commercial Building, 6-8A Prat Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui
Step 6: Where to Shop
Monday, 12th November 2012 – Conrad Gift & Lifestyle Fair
Select your gifts from a range of prices and products – designer jewellery, fashion accessories, handbags, ladies and children’s fashions, baby clothing and accessories, home wares and interior décor, health and lifestyle products, aromatherapy, novelty gifts, stationery, cards and books, gourmet chocolates, confectionery, wine and food, and lots more. For more details, click here.
Timings: 10am – 8pm
Entry: Free Admission
Venue: Conrad Hotel, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
For high end ethnic designer Indian wear, check out the following boutiques in Hong Kong:
Sanskrit: G/F, 48 Lyndhurst Terrace, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong | 2545 2088.
Raja Luxe: 2/F Cammer Commercial Building, 30-32 Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong | 2311 5612
For affordable traditional Indian wear, also check out the following boutiques in Hong Kong:
Kanta Trading Co: 3rd Floor, Shop No.T1-T2, Cathay 88 Cathay Lodge, 125 Wan Chai Road, Hong Kong | 69705313
Monicas Enterprise: 68, Mirador Mansion, 1/Fl, Nathan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong | 2368 4432
Step 7: Where to Donate?
Prayaas is a non-profit start-up initiated by a group of Indian expats in Hong Kong. It is intended to be a vehicle for organized social initiatives focused on India. The idea behind Prayaas is simple – to contribute in some small yet meaningful way by donating time and money to deserving causes. Prayaas is now looking to enlist like-minded people who are enthusiastic about contributing in whichever way they want to!