After summer ends, we all look forward to meeting our family and friends for the holidays. Diwali is one of those holidays! It’s the most important Hindu holiday celebrated. Diwali draws people from all parts of the world to spend time with each other and relive memories of the past.
You may be wondering, “What is Diwali?”. Diwali is a festival of lights in Hindu Culture. This festival is associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, and it celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness. It’s a great time to share traditional stories, perform religious rituals, and share gifts with friends and family.
Have you always wanted to know how the word “Diwali” came to be? Well, it originated from “Deepawali”, a Hindu term meaning “light that emanates from a paper lantern.”
During the celebration, you can see lights everywhere, even on hidden and narrow paths! It’s called the Festival of Lights for a reason. The celebration is held on the day of the “Amavasya”. This day is in complete darkness, and not even the moon shines its light on the world. But during Diwali, we light the world by placing lights of different types and colors on our homes and communities to rekindle hope in a dark world.
As Diwali draws to a close, we place sweet-smelling offerings before deities and arrange small clay lamps (diyas) in and outside their homes. The purpose of this is to attract Lakshmi’s attention to bless our family and loved ones.
Do you want to know more about the Diwali Festival? Not to worry! This article will show you everything you need to know and more!
How is Diwali celebrated?
The weeks before the Diwali celebration are always fun and exciting! We spend time decorating our homes, buying jewelry and new clothes, and exchanging gifts and food items with friends and neighbors.
It’s very common to see outdoor food festivals, craft fairs, and dinner parties during this time, and you can feel the excitement building up in every corner of the country.
Gambling is very popular, especially in northern India, so you can always find people playing card games late into the night weeks before Diwali. These games are filled with assorted drinks and lots of finger foods. What could be better?
What Are The Five Days of Diwali?
The best answer to “What is Diwali?” can be found in the five festival days
1. Day One- Dhan Teras
The first day of the festival is a day to express wealth. “Dhan” means wealth, so we celebrate that day by going on a shopping spree. We buy gifts for ourselves, family members, close friends, acquaintances, and other people in our community.
We also consider it good luck to buy metal utensils like steel ladles, or expensive kitchen appliances if we can afford to.
2. Day Two- Naraka Chaturdasi
This is the day we celebrate light over darkness, good over evil. We get up before daylight, even as early as 3 am, and praise religious gods and goddesses who believe have driven demons from the earth. You can always smell this day come by because we make sweet-smelling offerings as part of their worship.
3. Day Three- Diwali
This is the main festival day. The moon disappears completely, and the night sky is filled with total darkness. Amidst the darkness, the most beautiful diyas spring up from every corner and lights up the atmosphere, signifying the rekindling of hope, love, and laughter.
When the sun sets, prayers are offered to Ganesh and Lakshmi, with lots of beautiful clay lamps arranged inside and outside houses. In past years, fireworks always end that day’s celebration but have been toned down due to environmental concerns. This doesn’t diminish the party spirit, though. There are always lavish dinners in several parts of town.
4. Day 4- Annakut
Different parts of India host different activities on this day. But generally, we reminisce about the victory that compassionate gods and goddesses had over the powers of darkness. The party spirit still lingers on, with food mountains decorated in a special way and husbands presenting gifts to their wives. It’s such a romantic and heartwarming event.
5. Day 5- Bhayiduj.
On the final day of the festival celebration, family members seek to strengthen relationships amongst themselves. Brothers and sisters appreciate one another and express their love and support for each other. It doesn’t matter whether they have had disagreements or quarrels days before.
It’s a tradition that aims to restore family relationships amongst married brothers and sisters since they don’t come home very often.
When is Diwali Celebrated?
There is no specific date for the Diwali Celebration. It follows the Hindu calendar, so the dates change annually. However, it falls on a moonless night between October and November.
Why is Diwali Celebrated?
Diwali not only celebrates the victory of light over darkness but also rekindles relationships that are growing stale. It’s a five-day festival of light that attracts millions of Jains, Hindus, and Sikhs from all over the world and connects people from various walks of life.
Other Questions You May Have About Diwali
What are the best foods prepared for Diwali?
As mentioned previously, there are often lots of drinks and finger foods. The best foods or snacks for the occasion include Samosa, Murukku, Aloo Bonda, Gulab Jamun, Onion Bhaji, etc. They taste savory and have a bit of crunch.
How do you greet people during Diwali?
There is no special greeting on this day. A simple ‘Happy Diwali’ is enough, but if you want to take it up a notch, you can wish someone a Diwali full of blessings, prosperity, joy, and happiness.
Do Muslims celebrate Diwali?
Yes! Muslims have been celebrating Diwali for centuries.
What are the best gifts for Diwali?
You can give people candles, metallic cookware, earthen pots, plants, and other things you think they would appreciate. Don’t bother yourself about getting the perfect gift. Choose a nice gift and present it to a loved one sincerely. They’d never forget it.
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen!
Diwali is one of the most important celebrations in India, one that is highly anticipated every year. Now that you know what the festival is all about, hearing isn’t enough. If you want to experience the breathtaking events, amazing scenery, tasty foods, and warm relationships, then you should definitely attend this festival.