An Extensive Guide To The Festival Of Lights!
A five-day festival, Diwali is celebrated as the homecoming of Lord Rama with Sita and Laxmana after a long exile of 14 years. Translated literally from Sanskrit, Diwali means a row of lights; diyas were first lit by the people of Ayodhya to welcome their King, Rama, after defeating Ravana. Some people in India also believe it to be the celebration of the marriage of Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi.
In most of the regions, Lord Ganesha, who is the god of wisdom and auspiciousness is worshiped on the day of Diwali. Diwali marks the anniversary of Nirvana or liberation of Mahavira’s soul in Jainism. In West Bengal, Diwali is celebrated to worship goddess Kali, who is the goddess of Shakti, which means power and energy.
Reasons For Diwali Celebration In India
Diwali is not just celebrated as a homecoming of Lord Ram back to Ayodhya after he killed Ravana. Here are other reasons why Diwali is celebrated:
- Krishna killed Narakaasur: Narakaasure who invaded the three worlds was defeated byr Lord Krishna a day before Diwali. The next day of Diwali is celebrated as Naraka Chaturdasi.
- Goddess Laxmi’s birthday: Goddess Laxmi is one of the most principal dieties of Hindu religion and also the ‘Goddess of Wealth’. On this day. Goddess Laxmi is worshipped for wealth and prosperity.
- The Return of Pandavas: As mentioned in Mahabharata, Pandavas defeated the kaurava and returned from the 12 yers of banishment on the day of kartik Amavasya i.e. Diwali.
How Is Diwali Celebrated In Different Parts Of India
- Traditionally, Diwali is celebrated on the third day of the festival, and Deepavali 2020 falls on November 14th. Like other famous festivals in India, Diwali celebration across India is done with great excitement and grandeur uniting the whole country. People usually wear new clothes on the night of Diwali, share gifts, and those who can afford also buy silver or gold jewelry.
1. North India
Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Srinagar, Delhi and Punjab), the Deepavali festival is celebrated with fireworks, lights, and, sweets. Lord Ganesha and goddess Lakshmi are also worshipped in Hindu homes on this day. If you’re in the capital, you shouldn’t miss the Diwali mela in Delhi that lets you buy decor and food items for the festival and for best Diwali celebration in India. Uttar Pradesh is also considered as one of the best places to visit on Diwali!
2. East India
(West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, and Odisha), Diwali celebraton in East India is mainly the night of ancestors, and earthen oil lamps are lit on poles to guide the souls of the departed loved ones to heaven in Odisha. The people of West Bengal and Assam worship goddess Kali on the night of Diwali festival and offer prayers to their ancestors. The people of Bihar and Jharkhand perform Lakshmi pooja in the evening and women make rangolis on the verandah of their homes and temples. For witnessing Diwali in India, visit any of these places.
3. West India
(Gujarat and Maharashtra), rangoli is an important part of their Diwali decoration. While Gujaratis draw footprints of goddess Laxmi on the threshold of the house, light their homes with candles, rice lights, and diyas on the night of Diwali, Maharashtrians perform Lakshmi pooja in their homes and organize a feast known as “Faral” for families and friends, where sweets like karanji, ladoo and snacks like chakli and sev are served.
4. South India
(Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu), while Andhrites and Tamilians worship Lord Krishna and his wife Satyambha’s victory over the demonic King Narkasura, Kannadigas take oil bath and build forts from cow dung in their homes.
Diwali Celebration Around The World
Diwali is an occasion of joy, merrymaking, and togetherness for Indians around the world. While the festival is celebrated on a grand scale throughout the country, it is also celebrated in other countries with large Hindu populations that include Nepal, Srilanka, Mauritius, Singapore, Myanmar, Indonesia, Britain, Malaysia, Thailand, Guyana, Japan, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago, Africa, and Australia.
Food Delights Of Diwali Across India
One thing that comes to our minds when we think of Diwali food is sweets; a lot of it. Apart from Diwali home decoration, sll these delicious snacks add colours and flavour to the spirit of the festival. From the tempting gooey barfis to the peppery mathris, each state of India has its own way of making Diwali flavoursome.
1. Gulab Jamun
Made using powdered/condensed milk, clarified butter, and flour, you’ll find this brownish red sweet in every home during festival and Diwali celebration in North India isn’t complete without it. One dumpling will be enough to satisfy your cravings, unless, of course, you have a major sweet tooth.
Patisha: Mainly seen in North India, Patisha or soan papdi is a flaky sweet garnished with pistachio to add some nuttiness to it. If you love candy floss, you’ll love Patisha too.
Samosa needs no introduction. Whether it’s Diwali celebration in India 2020 or any other festival, Samosa is always there.This is probably the best stuffed pastry you’ll ever have in your life. From chicken & mutton to potato peas & paneer, there are many ways to fill it and prepare it.
Malpua: Mainly prepared in Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Uttarakhand, Malpua is a sweet pancake dipped in sugar syrup.
An authentic Maharashtrian sweet dish, Anarsa is a pastry-like snack prepared especially on Diwali.
Karanjis: A sweet savory snack, Karanjis is a Maharashtrian dessert stuffed with dried fruits, suji, and khoya.
A spicy and fluffy Gujarati snack prepared on the occasion of Diwali, Cholafali is prepared using mixed flours and authentic Gujarati spices.
Diwali celebration in South India, especially Kerala and Tamil Nadu is incomplete without preparing Murukku. It’s a deep fried, spicy snack made of lentils and rice flour.
A special Diwali sweet, Ukkarai is prepared mainly by Tamilian Brahmins of Chettinad. It’s prepared using gram flour and jaggery. Do try this delicacy when you are celebrating Diwali in India.
Tips To Celebrate Diwali Safely
Here are a few tips for celebrating Diwali in India safely. Keep reading to know more about them!
- Stay away from synthetic fabrics, only wear cotton clothes.
- Have a fire extinguisher and keep a first aid kit ready in your home.
- Don’t burn crackers in closed areas.
- Don’t let kids burn aerial fireworks like rocket alone.
- Never ever light a cracker while holding it in your hand.