Homes filled with earthen lamps, candle lights and a sweet aroma of mouthwatering sweets, the chill of approaching winters and the warmth of friends and families, this is the way, we would portray an impeccable picture of Diwali celebration in India.
Diwali is regarded as one of the most auspicious and grand festivity in India which is “Festival of Lights Diwali”. The occasion is celebrated with much joy and grandeur by Hindus including Jains, and Sikhs across the globe. Diwali is celebrated to commemorate the victory of good over evil. It is a wonderful opportunity for individuals to let go of the past, move on and make merry.
Being the celebration of ‘light conquering dark’ and ‘good conquering evil’, people from all sections of the society come together to celebrate this vibrant festival. The occasion marks the start of a new business year and a Hindu New Year where people worship and offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha to attain good luck, wisdom, wealth and a successful year ahead.
It is one of the biggest events which is celebrated in India with great zeal and happiness. The term “Diwali” denotes “rows of lighted lamps” which presents a good idea about the core meaning of the festival. Diwali celebration is all about lightning earthen lamps which are popularly known as ‘diyas’, colorful and bright lights and firework displays.
Public places and shops are also adorned and decorated with lights and garlands representing the huge Diwali celebrations in India. These earthen lamps and lights are meant to help Goddess Lakshmi to find her way to businesses and homes. People leave the doors and windows open to allow Goddess Lakshmi to enter and bring wealth, prosperity and happiness along with her. Adding colors to the festivity, people draw rangoli on the floors of courtyards, living rooms and at entrance doors. These beautiful Rangolis are made up of dry rice, flour, petals, colored sand, and powder.
A Five-Day Lightening Festival
Diwali is a 5-day grand celebration with each day having its own significance.
- Diwali celebrations initiate with “Dhanteras”, the auspicious day when all the preparations are done for the festival and people clean and decorate their homes. On the day of Dhanteras, it is a ritual to buy new utensils, ornaments, clothes or any other product of metal as a symbol of wealth and a new beginning.
- The second day i.e. a day prior to the eve of Diwali is celebrated as “Chhoti Diwali” on which individuals perform small rituals and Pujas. To welcome Goddess Lakshmi, people draw rangolis artworks on this day.
- The third day is the grand celebration of “Diwali festival” which is considered as the most significant and auspicious day in Hindu religion. People light oil lamps which last for the entire night. Exchange of gifts and visiting each others’ place are the common rituals of the festivity. During late evening and night time, people celebrate the occasion with crackers and fireworks and welcome the New Year.
- On the very next day i.e. the fourth day, relatives and friends visit each others’ places, exchange greetings along with sweets and gifts. This day is celebrated as Govardhan Puja in almost every part of India.
- The fifth day of the festival is celebrated as “Bhai Dooj” which is recognized as the second day of the Hindu New Year and it is primarily dedicated to the brothers. As a part of the ritual, sisters invite their brothers to their home, cook food for them, perform aarti, put a teeka on their forehead and seek their blessings.
Diwali Celebrations in different parts of India
Diwali Celebrations in North India
In the states of Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Srinagar and Himachal Pradesh, the occasion is celebrated as the homecoming of Lord Rama after an exile of 14 long years with Goddess Sita and Lord Lakshman. Therefore, the festival is celebrated with pujas, sweets, lights,
and fireworks. People worship and offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha on this day. A grand Diwali Mela is organized in Delhi where people enjoy eating delicious food items and buying home decor.
Diwali Celebrations in East India
In the states of Odisha, Assam, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand, the festival is recognized as the night of forefathers and ancestors. People in Odisha, light earthen lamps for guiding the souls of the ancestors to heaven. In the states of Assam and West Bengal, people offer prayers to their forefathers and worship Goddess Kali on the eve of Diwali. In the states of Jharkhand and Bihar, people observe Lakshmi Puja during the evening time and Rangoli is made on the entrance of temples and homes.
Diwali Celebrations in West India
In the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, rangoli artworks are considered as a significant aspect of Diwali celebration. People in Gujarat light the houses with diyas, rice lights, and candles as well as draw the footprints of Goddess Lakshmi on the entrance of their houses. People in Maharashtra observe Lakshmi Puja and also organize “Faral”, a feast for friends and families where delicious delicacies are made and served.
Diwali Celebrations in South India
In the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the occasion of Diwali is celebrated to worship Lord Krishna and Goddess Satyabhama and to rejoice their win over Narakasura, a demonic King. People in Karnataka observe oil bath and also perform a ritual of building forts with cow dung in their houses.
Diwali celebration in India is indeed an unforgettable and mesmerizing experience. .!!
Wishing you all a happy and prosperous Diwali!!