Next Saturday is Divali, the traditional Hindu Festival of Lights. The CLO office at the US Embassy is organizing a tour to visit the village of Felicity in Chaguanas to experience one of the many aspects of local culture in Trinidad.
What: Divali Tour to the village of Felicity, Chaguanas
When: Saturday, November 2, Protected content
Price: $250TT per adult, $100TT per child over 4
Divali is the Hindu Festival of Lights. It is observed on the new moon day of the month of Kaartik in the Hindu calendar and is the darkest night of the whole year. The origins of Divali are based on both the harvesting festivals and legends of India. Divali symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.
In Trinidad, Divali is a public holiday and weeks of fasting and abstinence by the Hindu community climax in the lighting of thousands of tiny deyas (small clay pots filled with oil.) in courtyards, homes and parks. It is very much a community affair and entire villages are illuminated, traditional Indian wear is donned, special foods and sweets are prepared to share with friends and neighbors.
We will leave Westmoorings at approximately 4:15pm to get to Felicity by 5PM. The evening festivities will be hosted at a traditional Hindu Temple. There will be an hour-long program featuring traditional Indian dance, Tassa Drummers and a speaker who will explain what Divali is and entertain any questions from the visitors. A traditional Divali meal will be served, it will be a vegetarian meal as this is a religious festival, no meat or alcohol will be served. The meal will be curried mango, potatoes, channa, pumpkin, chatain and roti (locals call this meal “paratha”).
The village will light up at approximately 6pm when it gets dark, so you can walk through the village and see what the “festival of lights” is truly about. Visitors and locals alike walk through the village, listen to the singing, and visit with the local families, who will be giving out local Indian sweets. There will be loud music and fire crackers and 'bamboo busting'.
The dress code will be semi-formal, no short pants and shoulders must be covered as we will be entering a temple. if you plan to wear a sleeveless dress, please bring a shawl to use while in the temple. We will leave by approximately 8pm as there will be lots of traffic to get out of the village, since hundreds of visitors visit Felicity each year for Divali.
If you are interested in signing up for this tour, please contact me, Andrea Wald, at Protected content .