Festivities are a significant part of people’s cultural lives, as they represent pleasure, happiness, and religious devotion. They are not one-dimensional entities but rather a mix of singing, dancing, theatrical expression, and other forms of entertainment. India’s festival of lights, Diwali, is a vivid outpouring of devotion and joy with different regional variants.
The lights burned on this day are designed to communicate a significant truth about life, which is that “when the darkness within us is expelled via the light of wisdom, the good in us triumphs over the wicked.” The victory of good over evil is emphasized in every narrative or myth surrounding Deepavali. It is an opportunity to rekindle the light of wisdom/goodness within us.
Diwali commemorates Rama’s homecoming from a 14-year exile imposed by his father, according to folklore. When he returns, he finds his citizens in a state of despair due to the demon Ravana, a cunning but malevolent “pundit” who terrorizes the kingdom. Rama fights the demon with the help of his wife Sita and frees his kingdom from oppression. Rama’s subjects light lights to welcome him back and celebrate his return, which is the holiday’s defining tradition. Lord Rama’s victory and return today symbolizes the triumph of good over evil.
The occasion is auspicious in a variety of ways. It is stated that if someone needs money on this day, Lakshmi will appear. Shakti will appear if someone wishes to be well. Saraswati will appear if someone seeks knowledge. These are rational expressions of how it will lead to happiness. A festival was viewed as a tool in Indian culture to bring life to a condition of excitement and zeal. People nowadays usually only celebrate about eight or ten festivals per year because we have to go to work or do something else every day.
Like other Indian festivals, Diwali has distinct meanings for individuals of different religions and is celebrated in a unique way across the country. Take a trip to the gorgeous countries of North India or the odious locales of the South, where this religious holiday is celebrated. Diwali commemorates Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya after conquering Ravana, the Rakshasa King of Lanka. Deepavali is celebrated with tremendous excitement by Indians all over the world, not just in India. The White House honours and respects the sanctity of this holiday known as “Indian Christmas” every year.
A festival without food isn’t a festival, but Diwali has its version of the traditional feast primarily comprised of sweets. In India, Diwali sweets are known as mithai, and they are a combination of candy, snacks, and desserts that can be eaten after the Lakshmi Puja. Mithai is also offered as a gift and comes in ornately designed boxes. Diwali celebrations are noisy and colourful for some, with individuals competing to see who can set off the loudest and brightest fireworks. Some people associate Diwali with the annual cleaning and decorating of their homes.
Diwali is a celebration in which you clean out your house of all the old and undesired items. Instead of throwing these items out, use your imagination to repurpose them as ornamental decorations. Do a fun DIY project out of it by involving the kids at home.
Family and friends exchange a wide variety of Diwali gifts. Neighbours frequently exchange sweets, such as barfis, gulab jamuns, laddoos, or jalebis, which are all wrapped up in lovely boxes. Chocolates, clothing, housewares, and jewellery for women are common gifts. All of these gifts, however, are accompanied by the gift of goodwill toward one another.
People make Goddess Laxmi’s footprints with rice flour at their front doors to welcome peace and wealth, which the goddess brings with her. To appease her, people light clay lamps with lotus stem wicks. Everything about Diwali is euphoric enough to keep us waiting all year, whether it’s the family reunions, beautifully coloured rangolis, or rows of clay lamps lighting up the patios. As dusk approaches, everything comes to life, and the darkness of Kartik Amavasya is banished by the dazzling light of diyas illuminating our homes.
We have compiled everything you need to know about the festival of shine and joy.