Holidays Upon Us

It’s that time of year!

The lights are out and the home is warm. For the next weeks and months we’ll enjoy the soft glow of string lights.

Here in Western India Navratri begins tomorrow. It lasts nine nights. Throughout the period, in this part of the country, we’ll recognize the victory of good over evil through the legend of Rama over demon king Ravana.

In the Ramayana, Rama pursues Ravana to Lanka, rescuing his kidnapped wife Sita. There are so many fascinating aspects to the tale — palace intrigue; romantic temptation; revenge; the deployment of a monkey army under the command of Hanuman; an epic battle on a distant island.

This year’s celebration holds particular satisfaction for me. I may not have crossed a sea-bridge constructed of stones by Hanuman’s monkey loyalists, but I’ve experienced a little of the legend with a visit to Sri Lanka.

I simplify a complex tradition, celebrated in different ways throughout a large and complex country. I share my simple version of the nine nights with you. I share this last revelation.

This begins a season of light in my home that lasts beyond the present holiday. It runs until we store our Christmas tree in a box come January. The days grow short but our hearts are filled with holiday joy. The fall holiday season is bookended for us by Navratri and Navidad.

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