Deepavali is one of the several festivals observed in large scale across Malaysia by the Indian community. It is considered as one of the most sacred events of the Tamil calendar.
Like other parts of the world, Deepavali is a significant date for the Indians in Malaysia. Originally, it is known as Diwali and is still being regarded as so. Diwali actually means the Festival of Lights which is why you will see a lot of oil lamps being used during this day.
The underlying principle of Deepavali is the observing of victory of good over evil. In some stories, it signifies the triumph of light over darkness. In ancient times, Deepavali is observed around autumn each year. In the modern calendar, it is held around October or November each year.
The actual day of Deepavali is actually on the Lunisolar Hindu month of Kartik. This occurs when the new moon night of the year is at its darkest. In Malaysia, Hindus observe similar practices as other parts of the world. This includes decorating their homes with glitter and gold as well as shopping and wearing of new clothes.
Since Deepavali is the Festival of Lights, candles and oil lamps are used to illuminate homes, temples and places of work. Common practices include making offerings to the Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. In the morning of this festival, Hindus will visit temples and shrines where they will carry out their duties in prayer and offerings.
In Malaysia, people from other races will visit their Indian families during Deepavali where they get to savour a lot of Indian food and cuisine. Prominent people and ministers are known to hold open houses as well to connect with the people on the ground.