With a pot of shining luck and a bag full of happiness, Diwali brings a ray of hope for people to be blessed with good health, wealth and prosperity. Also known as Deepawali, the festival gets its name from a row of lights — as “deep” means “light” or “lamp”, and “avali” means “row”. One of India’s biggest and most important holiday season, it not only symbolises the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness, but also marks the triumph of good over evil.
To celebrate the festivities, Hindus begin their preparations at least a month in advance. From cleaning and decorating homes to shopping for new clothes and jewellery, and preparing mouth-watering sweet tweets, the five-day festival is all about fun, frolic, zest and zeal!
Not only do Indians revel in the national festival regardless of faith, people all across the globe love to get into the groove of Diwali. But, if it’s your first time to celebrate the festival, or you seem to have mixed up the series of rituals, forget all your worries. We have prepared a guide to have a good time this Diwali in these simple steps.
SPIC AND SPAN
As soon as the date for Diwali celebration nears, people begin redecorating and renovating their homes. From dusting off every nook and corner to decking up walls and buying new furniture, people make sure their houses are spic and span. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi – the Goddess of wealth – only resides in clean areas, and hence this custom of cleanliness has been going on for ages now. Here are 5 easy makeover ideas to create festive vibes at home!
SHOP TILL YOU DROP
One of the biggest attractions of the festival is shopping for new dresses, jewellery and getting gifts for your near and dear ones. But, if you need help to decide what to get for everyone, here are some ideas. Take some fashion inspiration from these Bollywood divas before heading out to the shopping mall. No matter what your budget, there are hundreds of gifting options for Diwali — from jewellery boxes to fancy cutlery.
On the 13th day from Poornima (full moon), Dhantrayodashi or Dhanteras is celebrated. People light lamps and one diya to mark the beginning of the celebration. It is also believed that buying gold and silver items brings good luck on this day. Many families also make imprints of little feet with rice flour at the entrance of the house and near the temple. Lord Kubera — the God of wealth is worshiped as an age-old practice on this day.
CHOTI DIWALI REVELRY
Most hindus begin the Chaturdhashi day — popularly known as Choti Diwali — with abhyang snan. It is believed that people, who perform Abhyang Snan or take the holy bath on this day, can avoid going to narak or hell. Til (sesame) oil should be used for ubtan or a special face mask during the holy bath. Because of this, it is also known as Roop Chaturdashi and Roop Chaudas. People deck up the entrance with flowers, colours, rangolis and light up diyas all around the place.
Rangolis can be made using different materials such as colourful rangoli powders, ground rice powder, flowers and diyas, and if you’re planning to make a few this year, then here are 10 beautiful designs you can either copy or just take inspiration from.
SUMPTUOUS SWEET TREATS
Gulab jamun, laddoos or kaju katlis — Diwali is incomplete without sweets. From rasgullas to phirnis, the delectable desserts add to the celebrations of the festival. And if you’re still not ready with the highlight of the Diwali meal, here are 10 dessert recipes for you to whip up at home.
ROCKING THEME PARTY
If you’re planning to host a zestful party without spending a lot, here are some ideas to have an amazing evening full of entertainment and celebration. Even if you are organising it for the first time, you need not worry, we have got it all sorted out for you. From Game of Thrones to card games, here are three spectacular themes to help celebrate this Deepawali with your loved ones and even win the title of ‘the host of the season’.
The new moon day of the dark fortnight of Ashwin, the most significant day is observed. People perform the Lakshmi Puja on this day following the right vidhi and muhurat. Gifts and sweets are exchanged on this day to strengthen bonds of love between family and friends. Some people also burst firecrackers, but it is better to go eco-friendly this time around, and save yourself from air pollution.
This is the day that Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Parvat to protect the Gokul people from Indra’s wrath and King Vikramaditya was crowned. Many families prepare 36 dishes to present to god on this day.
BOND OF LOVE
Two days after Diwali, brothers and sisters renew sibling love with a small traditional ceremony. Sisters apply red tilak on the forehead of their brothers and pray for their long life, while brothers bless their sisters and provide gifts of love.
With this, the spectacular celebrations come to an end, and people go to each other’s places to distribute sweets. Hope you have a joyous Diwali this year!