Deepavali or Diwali is the festival of Lights celebrated to mark the victory of Light over Darkness; Good over Evil. People display lights everywhere, buy new clothes, all that festival excitement.
What exactly is Diwali?
There are many reasons why Diwali is celebrated:
First of all, there's an intricate tale about Lord Rama returning home with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana after defeating King Raavana. To celebrate his return the villagers lit Diyas or lamps along his path.
- Then there's the Return of the Paandavas after 12 years of Vanvas (exile due to having lost a game of dice against Duryodhana).
- Another main reason for celebrating diwali is in the name of the Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Weath and Prosperity) and other deities. Due to this, it also marks the beginning of India's financial year.
Traditionally, Diwali is celebrated for 5 continuous days each consisting of a different ritual.
Who celebrates Diwali?
Multiple communities! There's a wide, range of people who celebrate different versions of Diwali.
And many more.
How is Diwali celebrated?
Like every other festive occasion, people decorate their houses, buy new clothes, give gifts etc. But like every other festive occasion, Diwali has it's own unique means of making merriment.
Little lamps similar to the pahana, that are lit all over houses and streets.
The Kolam/Rangoli, is a colourful mandala-esque pattern drawn on the floor/doorway of one's home using rice flour coloured with powdered dye. Powdered dye in itself is also used to make a Kolam, so is rice, powdered chalk and powdered white stone. It is made usually to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi on her walks through the earth during Diwali.
Oh gosh a plethora of divine delights are made on this day. Different types of sweetmeats like:
are made and distributed amongst family and friends.
Sarees are the main form of attire worn during Diwali and many other occasions as well. So are shalwars and lehengas. Want to find out more about saree culture, and where to buy them in the city? We got you.
Traditionally men wear a type of suit called the Dhoti Kurta which is similar in appearance to the ladies' Shalwar Kameez.
You can find a plethora of different shops at Pettah that tailor Dhoti Kurtas. Or places like Hercules, Raheems/any tailoring store that has a mannequin dressed in a Dhoti Kurta.
What happens during Diwali?
There's no singular thing that happens. Everything happens at once. Fireworks, festivals, gatherings, parties, the happenings are endless.
People give each other money as gifts, you get your basic gifts like glassware and home appliances (hence the multitude of home appliance ads on TV this time of the year).
So at the end of the day….
…Diwali is a spectacular celebration of happiness, so get your nila kooru (sparklers) game on and have fun.
Happy Diwali from YAMU!