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Campus Ministry


By Crystal Sullivan, Executive Director of Campus Ministry

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Members of the University of Dayton community celebrate important religious holidays and cultural celebrations that span many different faith and cultural traditions.  Saturday, November 14, is Diwali, the ancient Hindu "Festival of Lights”.  Diwali is one of the most important Hindu festivals and also holds significance in the traditions of Sikhism and Jainism. Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil, purity over impurity, light over darkness. 

Diwali extends over five days, in which Hindu's and others prepare by cleaning, renovating and decorating their homes. Diwali night is spent praying, feasting, wearing fine clothing and exchanging gifts with family and close friends. It is a happy time where celebrants reflect on the spiritual significance of the triumph of good over evil. Representations of light are seen everywhere during Diwali! Fireworks, candles and lanterns are all major components of the celebration. It is believed that deceased relatives come back to visit families during the festival and the lights guide their way home. It is a holiday of giving, with small and large gifts alike bestowed to loved ones.

Diwali has ancient rituals and traditions rooted in Hinduism. It’s most popular in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and many other areas around the world. Although the nature of Diwali’s celebration varies from region to region, these unique traditions ensure a happy holiday filled with love, sharing, and self-reflection - a time of rejoicing and renewal.

To all students, staff and faculty, let's use occasions like these to reflect and renew.

Happy Diwali to everyone! For more information about Diwali, visit here. (some text adapted from

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