The last two years have been quite stressful for the world in general. A pandemic, natural calamities, war, and so much more. We were devoid of the basic right to see our loved ones. But this year it got better. We could meet our loved ones, spend time with them physically, not just virtually, and celebrate the joys of togetherness. We got the chance to celebrate all festivals and we’re nearing another major one. Let’s see if you can guess which one we’re talking about – which festival is known as lights? It’s celebrated by many communities and the country is known for this festival.
Yes, it’s Diwali!
Let’s understand all about Diwali 2022.
Diwali is also known as Deepavali (De-wah-lee) which means festival of lights. This is a festival that is celebrated on a very large scale across all religions and regions. Diwali is primarily a festival celebrated by Hindus across the globe and is symbolic of the exaltation of good over evil. In the northern part of India, the festival is celebrated to mark the homecoming of Lord Ram with Seeta and Laxman after 14 years of exile. It’s said that villagers in Ayodhya welcomed their king lord ram with festive lights and decorations. It’s the festival where the earth and sky are lit up and the whole of the land looks beautiful with diyas.
Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is one of India’s biggest festivals. Like many other things in our culture, the festival name is derived from the Sanskrit term Deepavali which means a row of lights. Diwali is celebrated to symbolise the victory of light over darkness. It occurs between mid-October and mid-November on one of the darkest nights of the Hindu lunar month Kartika. In today’s modern world this festival is not only confined to India but is illustrious across all parts of the globe and is celebrated in the same spirit.
When we say festival of lights we actually mean it to the core. From households, temples, roads and major institutions light up their spaces and celebrate the night with fireworks and sweets. Diwali is also marked by one of the most important traditions of gifting and exchange of sweets with their loved ones. In India, various types of mithai like barfi and ladoos are offered to the goddess of wealth and prosperity which is Laxmi. Laxmi puja is the most important ritual that is performed across the regions to mark the embarkation of this auspicious festival. Rangoli, which is a form of decoration done at the entrance of houses and institutions, is another important custom performed on this day. Gambling on the eve of Diwali is considered propitious for the whole year. It is believed that by performing this act there are blessings from the goddess of wealth and prosperity which is Laxmi. Every ritual performed on this day has some mythological story attached to it.
As Lakshmi Pujan is one of the most important pujas that is done during this time, it is important to adhere to the puja muhurat. This year, the Amavasya tithi begins at 05:27 PM on October 24, 2022, and ends at 04:18 PM on October 25, 2022. So ensure that you plan your day accordingly and conduct the puja between the auspicious time.
The most important thing that is missed out on Diwali these days is the protection of the environment and animals. The pollution created by the burning of firecrackers and noise scares the street animals to an extent where they get hurt. It is advisable to burn crackers under adult supervision as there are many cases of accidents reported with kids on this day. The young generation is getting aware of the concerns here and burning eco-friendly fireworks to safeguard the environment for future generations. One of the most beautiful images that come out on this night is when diyas are lit up across the globe and the satellite image shows how the world is brightened up at one stretch.
Diwali is said to celebrate not just the victory of light over darkness but also the power of knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and right over wrong. Diwali is an event of high spiritual value and is considered an auspicious time for new beginnings.
But there’s so much more to Diwali than what we might have been taught in our childhood. Are you aware of why we celebrate Diwali? What are some Diwali traditions? What Diwali is all about? Then you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to know all about Diwali.
The Diwali festival celebrations vary in different parts of the country – it is one of the most celebrated festivals all over the country. It is considered to be an auspicious day for Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism. So if you ever questioned what religion celebrates Diwali, it’s not just one. The Hindus celebrate Diwali by lighting up small earthen diyas on the night of the full moon. This is an invitation to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. In the eastern part of the country, the goddess Kali is worshipped. While in the northern part of India, Lord Rama’s homecoming after defeating Ravana, is celebrated along with Sita, Lakshamana and Hanuman. They returned to Ayodhya after overpowering the 10-headed King of the demons. This is also how the festival is connected with Dussehra. In the southern side of the country, this festival is celebrated as Krishna’s victory over Narakasura. Furthermore, some people celebrate Diwali for the holy marriage of Lakshmi and Vishu and others for the goddess Lakshmi’s birthday. But one thing that’s common, no matter where it is being celebrated, is that everyone dons new clothes during this time. If you’re confused about wearing a saree, a suit set, or going indo-western, here are some Diwali dress ideas for you.
Did you know, Diwali is celebrated for over five days?
Day 1: This is known as Dhanteras, houses are cleaned and people buy gold or kitchen utensils that signify good fortune.
Day 2: This is called Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali. On this day, people are engrossed in decorating homes with clay lamps and beautiful rangoli designs outside of their homes. It is also said to be the day when the souls of the ancestors are prayed to.
Day 3: The main day of Diwali. Families come together to pray to Goddess Lakshmi and offer sweets. You may see a lot of fireworks going off to celebrate it. Find out the right way to do Lakshmi puja here.
Day 4: This day is called Goverdhan Puja, Balipratipada, or Annakut. It is considered a new year. Friends and families visit their loved ones and share Diwali gifts and blessings on this day.
Day 5: Though this is not a popular ritual anymore, day five is the day brothers visit their married sisters and are welcomed with a lavish feast from their sisters.
As we light the numerous diyas to adorn our homes, we illuminate the light within us, spiritually, and enlighten the light within us. It’s a time to remember the importance of knowledge, opportunity, power and seeking the difference between right and wrong. Diwali celebrations not only refresh our minds but also renew our beliefs.
As Indians, food plays an important part in our celebrations. And Diwali is incomplete without sweets and farsan made from ghee. Some of the famous food items that are made during Diwali are Aloo Bonda, Samosas, Gulab Janum, Sooji Halwa, Murukku, etc. If you’re looking for some quick Diwali recipes, you’ve come to the right place!
If we talk about decorations, on the days leading to Diwali, people start cleaning their homes well in advance. From home renovations to repainting homes, people go all out to ensure their homes are in top condition for this festival. On the days of the festival, people light up their homes with diyas and lights. Some keep it simple with white or yellow lights while others use colourful lights. The outside of the homes is decorated with different rangoli designs. Oh, and let’s not forget that people use lanterns, also known as kandil, to decorate their homes. And, as times are today, there are some typical poses that people pose with their Diwali decorations, people around and more. The best places to visit during Diwali are mentioned here. Don’t forget to plan your trip accordingly!
Diwali is a festival that unites people and illuminates homes. It’s a time of love, laughter and happiness. It’s the time to forgive and forget to celebrate what we have and move toward a prosperous future. It’s a time to spread good blessings, Diwali wishes and greetings around. So, come, let’s prepare for one of India’s biggest festivals of India to love and enjoy after these difficult times.