Diwali in India is a 5 days festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. Some people think it’s more about the triumph of light over darkness, but this only one interpretation. The celebrations are filled with lights, fireworks, and colorful decorations. On Diwali day, Hindus dress in their finest clothes and exchange gifts to signify the triumph of good over evil.
What is Diwali and how is it celebrated in India?
Diwali starts on Dhanteras, the first day of the lunar month of Kartika. Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama from his 14-year exile in the forest and his victory over the demon king Ravana. On this joyous occasion, Hindus light diyas (oil lamps) and candles, exchange sweets and gifts and pray to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
The festival of Diwali in India is also celebrated by Sikhs and Jains. For Sikhs, Diwali marks the release of their sixth guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, from imprisonment by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1619. For Jains, Diwali commemorates the nirvana (enlightenment) of Lord Mahavira in 527 BC.
Diwali is celebrated all over India with great fanfare. In some parts of the country, the festival is also known as Deepavali. The word ‘Deepavali’ comes from the Sanskrit words ‘dipa’, meaning ‘light’, and ‘avali’, meaning ‘row’ or ‘series’. Diwali is thus a festival of lights, where Hindus light diyas and candles to signify the triumph of good over evil.
Diwali is also a time for Hindus to give thanks to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. On this day, Hindus pray to Lakshmi for a prosperous year ahead. Many businesses start their fiscal year on Diwali, and it is considered auspicious to buy new clothes and gold on this day.
Diwali celebrations typically start with a puja (prayer) to Goddess Lakshmi and Ganesha. This is followed by the lighting of diyas and candles, and the exchange of sweets and gifts. On the final day of Diwali, Hindus offer prayers to Yama, the god of death, and perform the puja of Govardhan.
Diwali is one of the most popular festivals in India and is celebrated with great enthusiasm by Hindus all over the world.
The legend of Rama and Sita
Rama and Sita’s story is an extremely important episode from Hindu mythology, particularly the celebration of light, also known as Diwali.
Rama is a legendary Indian prince who became popular in the Ramayana epic. He was married to Sita, a beautiful, strong woman, according to Hindu mythology. They were living a peaceful existence until Ravana, the terrible demon king, began causing problems. He lived nearby and desired to marry Sita himself. He was an awful creature with ten heads and twenty arms that terrified everybody. Naturally, he elicited terror in everyone else.
When Sita was in the forest one day, Ravana took his chance and disguised himself as a wounded deer. He put on a good show by shapeshifting into an injured deer and coming forward to her. Sita asked her husband to assist her with the deer, but before he could do so, it had vanished into the woods.
Sita was concerned about the sick animal, so Rama went to search for it himself. To keep Sita safe in the woods while he went looking for the deer, he drew a magic circle around her. She would be secure if she remained within its circle.
When he saw his chance, Ravana transformed yet again into a thirsty beggar and appeared in front of Sita. She stepped out of the circle to offer him some water, wanting to help this seemingly needy individual. Ravana switched back to his awful natural form and whisked Sita away in his great flying chariot before she had a chance to run away.
Rama, seeking to return home to his awaiting wife, returned to an empty magic circle. Rama was shocked and perplexed when he emerged from the forest and found the monkey king, Hanuman. They established a fast friendship, with Hanuman agreeing to assist Rama to find Sita.
Hanuman was a loyal and trustworthy hero who traveled for days across seas and mountains in search of Sita. He eventually discovered her imprisoned on the island of Lanka, where Ravana held her captive.
Back at Rama’s court, Hanuman gave the news to him. Rama was now even more determined than ever. To go and save Sita, they recruited an army of monkeys and erected a bridge over the water to Lanka.
The major fight lasted ten days, and Ravana was winning until Rama saw his chance to overcome him. He took advantage of the opportunity and sacked his divinely bestowed magic arrow, killing Ravana, and winning the war!
Rama and Sita were happily reunited, and they set out on their return trip. To assist them to navigate their way back, everyone in the kingdom lit an oil lamp to light their path. Once they returned, the people celebrated their safe return.
Diwali Traditional foods
Traditional foods and sweets are eaten during Diwali in India. Popular dishes include kheer, samosa, and pakora. Sweets are often given as gifts to family and friends. Fireworks are also a big part of the Diwali celebrations in India. Families and friends get together to light fireworks and enjoy the show. Firecrackers are also set off in many public places.
A samosa is a fried or baked pastry with a savory filling, such as spiced potatoes, onions, peas, lentils, macaroni, noodles, or minced meat. Samosas are often served with chutney, sambar, tomato sauce, or yogurt.
Gulab jamun is a milk-solid-based sweet from India. It is made mainly from milk solids and sugar with a small amount of flour. Gulab jamun is often served with ice cream or rabri (thickened condensed milk).
Jalebi is a popular Indian sweet made from maida flour (refined wheat flour), yogurt, and sugar. It is deep-fried in ghee or oil and then soaked in sugar syrup. Jalebi is served hot or cold with rabri, kheer, or ice cream.
Halwa, also known as halva, is a sweet dish that’s frequently served at celebrations and religious events. There are two types of halwa: one made out of flour and gelatinous in texture, which is frequently formed into a bar shape, and one prepared with nut butter and crumbly in texture, which isn’t pressed into a pastry.
Ladoo is a type of ball-shaped sweet from India. It is made from flour, sugar, ghee, and milk solids. Ladoo is often flavored with cardamom, saffron, and nuts. It is served during festivals and celebrations.
Pakora is a type of fritter made from vegetables or meat that is coated in a batter and deep-fried. Pakora is often served with chutney or sauce.
Aloo tikki is a popular snack from India that is made from boiled potatoes, green peas, onions, and spices. It is shallow-fried or deep-fried and often served with chutney, yogurt, or tamarind sauce.
Kheer is a rice pudding made with milk, rice, sugar, and nuts. It is flavored with cardamom, saffron, and rose water
Activities and games enjoyed by children during Diwali
Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the most popular and eagerly anticipated festivals in India. The five-day celebrations include a number of activities and games that children enjoy immensely.
One of the most popular games played during Diwali is called ‘Rangoli’. Rangoli is an art form in which beautiful patterns are created on the ground using colored powders. This game is usually played by girls and women, who compete with each other to create the most intricate and beautiful designs.
Another popular game played during Diwali is ‘snakes and ladders. This is a board game in which players have to navigate their way through a series of squares, some of which lead to ladders that take them up to a higher square, and others that lead to snakes that send them back down. The first player to reach the final square is the winner.
So, these are some of the activities and games that children enjoy during Diwali. The festival is a time of great joy and excitement for all, and children especially look forward to participating in the various traditions and activities associated with this special time of year.
Tips for celebrating Diwali if you’re not in India
If you’re not in India, there are still plenty of ways that you can celebrate Diwali. Here are a few tips:
1. Set up an altar or shrine. This can be as simple as setting up a small table or shelf with some of your favorite Hindu deities. Alternatively, you can create a more elaborate display with candles, flowers, and other decorations.
2. Perform puja. One of the most important parts of Diwali is performing puja, or worship, of the Hindu deities. You can do this by lighting candles and incense, and saying prayers or chanting mantras.
3. Give gifts. Another way to show your love and appreciation for the holiday is to give gifts to your friends and family. Traditional Diwali gifts include sweets, fruits, and other small items.
4. decorate your home. One of the best ways to get into the spirit of Diwali is to decorate your home with lights and colors. You can hang lanterns, string up fairy lights, or put up diyas (small oil lamps) around your space.
5. cook traditional foods. Another way to celebrate Diwali is to cook and eat traditional foods. Some popular Diwali dishes include kheer (rice pudding), halwa (a type of sweet), and Puri (fried bread).
6. listen to music. One of the best parts of any celebration is the music! Make sure to put on some festive Diwali tunes to get you into the spirit of the holiday.
7. dance. Another great way to celebrate Diwali is to dance! There are many traditional Indian dances that are performed during the holiday, so find one that you like and get moving.
8. light fireworks. Fireworks are a staple of any Diwali celebration. If you can’t get your hands on any real ones, there are plenty of apps and websites that offer virtual fireworks displays that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.
By following these tips, you can celebrate Diwali even if you’re not in India. Enjoy the holiday and make sure to spread the love!
FAQs about Diwali
1)When is Diwali?
Diwali is celebrated on the 15th day of Kartika on the Hindu calendar, which falls between mid-October and mid-November on the Gregorian calendar.
2) What is Diwali?
The word “Diwali” comes from the Sanskrit dīpāvali, meaning “row or line of lights.” Diwali is a five-day festival in which Hindus celebrate the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.
3) How is Diwali celebrated?
On the first day of Diwali, people clean their homes and decorate them with lamps, candles, and flowers. On the second day, families visit relatives and friends. The third day is the main event when Hindus worship the goddess Lakshmi, the god of wealth. On the fourth day, people pray to the god Vishnu, and on the fifth day they celebrate the brotherhood of all mankind.
4) What are some traditions associated with Diwali?
Hindus traditionally wear new clothes and exchange gifts during Diwali. They also light fireworks and eat special foods such as sweets and savory snacks.
5) Why is Diwali a holiday?
Diwali is a holiday because it celebrates the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. It is also a time for families to gather together and celebrate their relationships.
6) Is Diwali a religious holiday?
Diwali is a Hindu holiday, but it is also celebrated by Sikhs and Jains. Many people who are not Hindu also celebrate Diwali because it is a time for families to be together and celebrate the triumph of good over evil.
7) What is the story of Diwali?
There are many stories about Diwali, but one of the most popular is the story of Rama and Sita. Rama was a prince who was exiled from his kingdom for 14 years. While he was away, his wife Sita was kidnapped by a demon king. Rama fought a great battle to rescue her, and when they returned home they were greeted by cheering crowds and lighting lamps to celebrate their victory over evil.
8) What are some things I should not do during Diwali?
You should not gamble or drink alcohol during Diwali, as it is considered disrespectful to the gods. You should also avoid eating meat, as many Hindus are vegetarians.
9) What are some safety tips for celebrating Diwali?
Some safety tips for celebrating Diwali include maintaining a safe distance from fireworks, not lighting fireworks in enclosed spaces, and keeping a bucket of water nearby in case of fire. You should also be careful with candles and lamps, as they can easily start fires.