Lucknow, Nov 8: Animals too will celebrate 'Diwali" in a zoo in Lucknow as they will be entertained to a special feast by the zoo authorities on the occasion of the festival of lights.
The zoo workers are busy preparing special food for the various animals. Even, the menu has been prepared keeping in mind the likings of the animals.
Elephants will be served with sugarcane and jaggery, bears will feast on honey with rice pudding, monkeys will enjoy peanuts and eggs while chimpanzees will have the tasty fruit salad.
Other animals will also be served with their favourite dishes. And to have a festive ambience, the zoo walls and enclosures have been spruced up and re-painted.
"We are painting all the enclosures in the zoo. And as in Diwali, we like to eat something special. So, we also want to give something special to the animals as well. So we have changed the menu for some animals," said Renu Singh, Director, Lucknow Zoo.
Animals may not be aware of the special treat, but zookeepers are keen to meet the November 9 deadline.
The day commemorates the homecoming of Lord Ram after a 14-year exile in forest. The people of Ayodhya welcomed him back by lighting up rows of lamps.
The festival, which signifies victory of good over evil, comes exactly twenty days after Dussehra.
There are several beliefs regarding the origin of festival. Hindus celebrate Diwali to mark the time when Lord Ram achieved victory over Ravana. Some also view it as the day when Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura or in honour of the day Bali went to rule the nether-world, obeying the order of Vishnu.
In Jainism, it marks the nirvana of Lord Mahavira, which occurred on October 15, 527 B.C.