Hindu mythology accords Diwali, a well-known festival in India, a great deal of spiritual reverence. It is widely observed in our nation and is referred to as the festival of lights.
Every year, the festival, whose name is derived from the Sanskrit word dipavali, which means “row of lights,” shines brightly in honor of the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.
People celebrate Diwali (sometimes spelled Divali) in different ways throughout the culturally diverse regions of India and throughout the global diaspora, just like so many other cultural and religious holidays.
This festival’s dates are determined by the Hindu lunar calendar, which assigns a month to the length of the moon’s orbit around the Earth. Between the Hindu months of Asvina and Kartika, which usually fall in October or November on the Gregorian calendar, is when Diwali begins. Diwali will begin on October 24 in 2022, and its most significant festival day will fall on October 25.
Dhantrayodashi, Narak Chaturdashi (Choti Diwali), Lakshmi Puja (Diwali), Govardhan Puja, and Bhaiyya Dooj are among the festivals associated with Diwali. However, generally speaking, each of the five Diwali days has a unique significance.
People pray to the goddess Lakshmi on the first day of Diwali, bake sweets, and clean their homes. The following day, they decorate their homes with lamps and rangolis, which are patterns made on the floor out of colored sand, powder, rice, or flower petals.
The third day of Diwali is the most significant; people may visit a temple to honor Lakshmi on this day or gather with friends and family for celebrations and fireworks. The lamps that the devotees had displayed the day before were also set on fire.
The fourth day of Diwali is often considered the New Year and a time for greetings and gift-giving. The fifth day is usually reserved for honoring one’s siblings.
We can therefore conclude that the Diwali festival fundamentally represents the spiritual triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.
History and Origin
Diwali was a harvest festival that was primarily observed by farmers in ancient India. In light of the fact that they would harvest their crops between October and November. Insects that ate the crops and destroyed them posed a serious threat to the farmers.
As a result, the farmers began illuminating diyas to draw and kill insects. This turned out to be quite successful because their crops were kept safe and they could now benefit from a good harvest.
In addition, the Hindu tradition places a high value on the Diwali festival. On this day, after spending 14 years in exile and vanquishing the evil King Ravana, Lord Rama, Maa Sita, and his brother Laxmana arrived back in Ayodhya.
It is said that in celebration of their victorious return, the citizens of Ayodhya planned a large ceremony. Fireworks, diyas, and bright lamps lit up the entire kingdom. The grand welcome that Lord Rama received is credited with inspiring the creation of the Diwali festival.
Diwali is a festival that is commemorated in some parts of India as Lord Krishna’s victory over the evil demon Narakasura. It is said that Lord Krishna freed all the princesses after defeating Narakasura, who had abducted more than 16,000 of them.
Sikhs especially commemorate the sixth guru Hargobind Singh’s freedom from captivity in 1619. Sikhs, however, observed the festival before this day. In fact, the Golden Temple at Amritsar was founded on Diwali in 1577.
Lord Mahavira is credited with founding Jainism. Jains commemorate the moment he attained the state of Moksha during Diwali (nirvana, or eternal bliss).
Nepal’s Newar Buddhists celebrate Diwali by praying to Lakshmi and honor a number of Vajrayana deities.
Who commemorates Diwali?
Diwali is a major festival observed by
- Buddhists, particularly Newar Buddhists
What are the other names for Diwali?
In many states, people of various religions celebrate Diwali.
A) Jains refer to Diwali as Jain Diwali.
B) Diwali is known as Bandi Chhor Divas by Sikhs.
C) People of Nepal, Sikkim and West Bengal refer to Diwali as Tihar and Swanti.
D) Diwali is known as Bandna in Jharkhand.
E) It is known as Deepawali in Tamil Nadu.
Where Diwali is celebrated?
In various parts of India, Diwali is observed.
The City of Temples celebrates Diwali as Dev Deepavali, the festival of the gods. The Holy River Ganga is adorned with lamps and rangolis by devotees who believe that the Gods and Goddesses descend to earth to take a dip in it.
To honor their ancestors in heaven, the Odia people practice the Kauriya Kathi ritual during Diwali. Jute sticks are burned to invoke ancestors and ask for blessings.
Bengalis also observe Kali Puja, also known as Shayama Puja, at the same time as Diwali. Kali Puja is observed at night, when devotees decorate Maha Kali with hibiscus flowers and present the Goddess with sweets, lentils, rice, and fish. Kali Puja is celebrated in temples in Kolkata like Dakshineshwar and Kalighat.
Vasu Baras, a celebration honoring cows, is the way Marathi people begin their Diwali. To honor the legendary physician Dhanvantari, they also observe Dhanteras. They observe Diwali Cha Padva to honor the love between husband and wife on the occasion of Diwali.
Diwali marks the end of the year for the people of Gujarat. On the day after Diwali, they celebrate the Gujarati New Year, Bestu Varas.
Diwali is celebrated in Goa as being the day that Lord Krishna defeated the Demon King Narakasura. In Goa, many people use coconut oil to cleanse their bodies of sin.
Diwali in Punjab coincides with Bandi Chhor Diwas, a Sikh celebration honoring the release of Sikh Guru Hargobind from the Mughal Emperor Jahangir’s prison.
H) Tamil Nadu
Tamilnadu celebrates the occasion when Lord Krishna, Lord Vishnu’s eighth avatar, vanquished Narakasura. The festival begins early in the morning with devotees bathing in water and oil in the belief that the Goddess Lakshmi is residing in the water and Ganga in the oil.
I) Andhra Pradesh
Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, is core to Andhra Pradesh’s celebration of Diwali. Every Diwali, Andhra Pradesh residents chant prayers and request the clay idol of Satyabhama for blessings.
Karnataka locals have a distinctive way of celebrating Diwali. Two important holidays are observed in Karnataka: Ashwija Krishna Chaturdashi and Bali Padyami. People take an oil bath on Ashwija Krishna Chaturdashi. On Bali Padyami, they create forts out of cow dung and tell tales of King Bali.
How can you celebrate Diwali?
Step 1) Decorating Your Home for Diwali
1) Clean your home.
The Hindu New Year, or Diwali, is a time to celebrate fresh starts. As a sort of cleansing ritual, it is customary to clean your home and place of business on or before the first day of Diwali in order to get ready for a brand-new beginning. Sort out your bills and paperwork, clean up cluttered areas, and do your laundry.
Consider this cleaning as a way to purify your surroundings and make room for the energizing, upbeat energy of Diwali and the New Year.
2) Make some footprints to scatter around your house.
Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, is honored on Dhanteras, the first day of Diwali. To anticipate her arrival, it’s customary to look for tiny footprints all over your home.
You can either make footprints on paper, cut them out, or scatter them around the house, or you can sprinkle a mixture of rice flour and vermillion powder directly on the floor.
3) Purchase new accessories, apparel, and kitchenware.
Going shopping for new clothes and home goods, such as kitchen utensils and decorations, is another tradition at the start of Diwali. A different way to celebrate the New Year is by wearing and using a few brand-new kitchen and clothing items during Diwali. For instance, you could purchase some jewelry, a nice set of plates or utensils, or a few new shirts or pants.
4) Use rangoli to adorn your doorways and home:
The second day of Diwali is referred to as Narak Chaturdashi. On this day, people decorate their homes with vibrant, colorful rangoli patterns. On a sheet of translucent parchment paper, doodle your design, and then cover it with sand or dried rice. Purchase colored rice or sand from a craft store to add color, or use food coloring to dye your materials.
Rangoli generally features lovely, symmetrical flowers like daisies and lotuses. They are typically placed right inside your home’s entrance, but you are welcome to place them anywhere. Your rangoli designs can also be painted or drawn on paper or wood, or even purchased already made.
5) Lit up your diyas and candles around your home:
Diyas are tiny oil lamps that resemble cups and have cotton wicks that resemble candles. It’s customary to light 4-6 diyas in a row near the doorways, frequently around your rangoli designs, to welcome the goddess Lakshmi into your home. You could also substitute tiny tealights.
Since Diwali is the Festival of Lights, feel free to light candles and diyas in additional locations throughout your house! You can purchase diyas online, and you can even use recycled materials to decorate them.
6) Hang string lights all your home
To celebrate the Festival of Lights, make your entire house bright! String lights should be used to decorate your home and should be hung from mantels, tables, and walls. You can also hang lights from the outside fences and your roof. To hang the lights, you can use either colorful or plain white strings.
Step 2: Making Diwali Meals and Treats
1) You may go for yogurt dip and kebabs for snacks and starters.
There isn’t just one traditional meal or type of food to eat for Diwali, so feel free to try something new or stick to your loved ones’ time-tested recipes. You can opt for dahi ke kebabs and yogurt dip with chips or bread for snacks and starters.
To make dahi ke kebabs, combine plain yogurt, finely chopped coriander, green chilies, onions, chickpea flour, and cumin seeds. After that, chill the mixture for an hour. Create flat circles out of the mixture, and then fry them in butter or oil until they are golden brown on both sides.
To make yogurt dip, combine whole milk yogurt, red onion, lime juice, and a number of spices with shredded, salted cucumber.
2) You may go for a masala dish for a simple, savory main course.
With a tasty masala as your main course, you can never go wrong. You can make many different kinds of “masalas,” which are a mixture of spices frequently used in Indian cuisine. Some examples include vegetarian paneer butter masala, chickpea masala, and chicken tikka masala.
Paneer butter masala: Onions, tomatoes, and cashews are first sautéed with spices to make vegan paneer butter masala. These are blended into a silky smooth puree to create the curry’s base.
To create butter masala, this is further simmered with butter and spices. Finally, cream and cubed paneer are added, making the dish creamy and amazingly delicious.
Chickpea masala: Drain the chickpeas before blending them with the fresh cilantro, green chilies, garlic, and onions in a food processor. The main flavoring ingredients are ground turmeric, coriander, and chili powder.
Tomato purée adds body and richness, and chickpeas add a lot of fiber, texture, and protein. This dish is delicious served alone or over rice or cauliflower rice.
Chicken tikka masala: It is a traditional curry dish made of soft, tender pieces of char-grilled chicken that are briefly simmered in a delicious and intensely flavorful tikka masala sauce or gravy. The chicken is first marinated in spiced and flavored yogurt before being perfectly char-grilled.
3) You may go for a pindi chole for your spicy Diwali dish.
Many people love to eat spicy food as a Diwali dish. Prepare some pindi chole, which is made by simmering a mixture of spices and chickpeas in a rich, creamy sauce, if you want to give your menu a little kick.
Recipies of Pindi Chole:
• Chole/chickpeas should be washed and soaked in water for at least eight hours.
• If you didn’t soak the chole the night before, soak them in hot water for 2 hours while they are covered.
• Place overnight-soaked chole, salt, potli masala tied in a muslin cloth, tea bags, and baking soda in a pressure cooker. Put the lid on after adding 4 cups of water.Cook the chole for 6 to 7 whistles on high heat.
•If you don’t have tea bags, you can make potli masala out of 1 teaspoon of tea leaves tied in cheesecloth.
• Extinguish the flame and allow the pressure to naturally subside. Give an extra 3 to 4 whistles if you don’t want to add baking soda.
• In the meantime, dry roast all of the ingredients listed in the section titled “Roasting.”To avoid burning them, make sure to stir continuously. Chana will taste bitter if not. Grind it into a fine masala once it has cooled.
• When the cooker’s pressure naturally releases, take out all of the amla, tea leaves, and dry khada masala (Whole Spices). Place the chole in a different vessel and strain it, but do not dispose of the water. Later, it can be used.
• Now combine the boiled chana with 2 tablespoons of dry-roasted, ground masala, coriander, garam, mango, black salt, hing, crushed kasoori methi, and red chili powder in a separate large bowl. Coat each chana with the mixture. Ginger and the peppers that you have sliced. Give it 30 minutes to itself.
• After that, melt the ghee and oil together in a kadai—preferably for an iron Kadhai one—and add the previously prepared chole mixture. At this point, gently mix in some of the reserved boiled chole water. To achieve that semi-thick consistency, continue cooking the chole on low heat while gradually adding the boiled chole water.
• Simmer it on low heat until the oil separates and the consistency is right.
•Leave the cooked chole in the iron kadhai for a longer period of time for a darker color.
•The pindi chana should now be served in a bowl with coriander leaves, onion and tomato slices, shredded ginger, and lemon wedges as garnishes.
4) You can opt for pudding and barfi and other desserts for your sweet Diwali.
Desserts are the highlight of Diwali. Serve your favorite pastries and confections, such as barfi, a creamy treat made by heating condensed milk, sugar, and nuts until they solidify. The treat is then cut into squares and served. You can also try a traditional peda or a dish like kheer, which is made with blanched almonds, raisins, and saffron.
Step 3: Celebrating with Friends and Family
1) Invite family and friends over.
On the third day of Diwali, invite your loved ones over. Spending time with your loved ones is essential to any Diwali celebration. If you’re unable to spend time with each other on Diwali’s five days, make an effort to meet up on the third day, which is regarded as the festival’s most important day. Invite them over for dinner and dessert, and then take some time to enjoy each other’s company.
The goddess Lakshmi, as well as Ganesh, the god of wisdom, and Kuber, the lord of wealth, are all invoked during the Lakshmi puja, which is performed on the third day. If you are not home for Diwali or if you can’t invite them in your Diwali Puja, send your loved ones a text to wish them a happy holiday and to express your gratitude.
2) Celebrating Diwali with firecrackers
Diwali is always celebrated with fireworks, firecrackers, and sparklers, especially on the third day, which embodies the festival’s joyous atmosphere and dazzling array of colors. Purchase handheld sparklers if you can so that you can light them outside and enjoy them with loved ones. To create beautiful patterns and effects, carefully swirl them in the air!
3) Exchanging gifts with family members
The first day of the New Year is formally observed on Padwa, the fourth day of Diwali. It’s customary to visit your family and friends on this day to share gifts and greetings. It’s not necessary to give expensive gifts; many families simply give candy or other small items. The first and foremost thing is love and appreciation.
4) Celebrate Diwali’s final day with your siblings.
The fifth and final day of the festival, Bahu-dooj, is dedicated to the bond between siblings. Traditionally, sisters will welcome brothers into their homes by applying a “tilak,” or vermilion mark, to their foreheads as a sign of their affection. Brothers will present their sisters with gifts, treats, and blessings.
Things to remember while celebrating Diwali
Some of the things to remember while celebrating Diwali are:
1) Avoid the use of plastic lights
Try to choose traditional earthen oil diyas over power-hungry electrical lights. These are not only beautiful, but also completely organic and traditional. The diya can be cleaned and used repeatedly for many years. Additionally, purchasing your diyas from squalor on the side of the road will improve their ability to celebrate the festival.
2) Ditch Fire Crackers
Even though there may be environmentally friendly crackers available, they still pollute the air. Thus, skip the fire crackers and opt for other means to celebrate Diwali.
3) Upcycle Last Year’s Supplies
Now is the perfect time to start if you aren’t already. It makes no sense to buy new supplies for Diwali every year. Recycle candlesticks, agarbati stands, diyas, and light bulbs.
4) Wrap carefully
Steer clear of those rolls of glitzy, shiny, and single-use wrapping paper. Get some plain paper, some non-toxic paint, and let your imagination run wild. Old newspapers are a wonderful surface to write your wishes on and give your gift a wonderful, unique touch.
5) Save Water
Save water in case you are having people over for a grand Diwali bash. Instead of plastic or thermocol alternatives, you may go for eco-friendly and biodegradable utensils.
6) Take into account your surroundings.
If everyone is happy during a celebration, it is truly a celebration. Think about those stray cats and stray dogs. You should be careful not to harm them while celebrating Diwali with your ways.