While in India, you should not miss the beautiful festival of lights and sound, Diwali. This ancient festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.
Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit fusion word Dipavali.
It is a beautiful festival where people clean and renovate their homes. They decorate their houses with ‘diyas’, candles and bright lights. Diwali is notable for its use of fire crackers and fireworks.
Diwali celebrations include millions of lights shining on housetops, outside doors and windows of the houses and shops, around temples and other buildings in the communities.
The festival of Diwali starts with its preparations and rituals extended over 5 days of bustling festivities. However, the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu lunar calendar.
According to the Gregorian calendars, it normally falls between mid-October and mid-November.
On the day of Diwali, celebrations begin when people dress up in new clothes, put on their best outfits and light up Diyas. They also offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi (the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity).
After most families have celebrated with fireworks, there is a huge feast and families exchange gifts amongst themselves.
Diwali is the time when people love indulging in shopping, even for automobiles and houses.This time is considered auspicious among most Hindus for making purchases and venturing out on new endeavor.
Signifiance of Diwali
Diwali is one of the largest festival in India, bringing together family and friends. People buy all sort of things which signify good health and prosperity. Dry fruits and sweets are exchanged depending on regional harvest and customs.
Little kids get to know about their ancient history, legends and myths. Families go out shopping and also decorate their house with Rangoli and candles.
Diwali is celebrated differently across cultures. At some places Diwali marks the return of lord Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana from exile according to the ancient Hindu epic called the Ramayana.
Some Hindus believe that it marks the return of the Pandavas after 12 years of Vanvas and one year of Agyatavas in the other ancient Hindu epic called the Mahabharata.
Some celebrate and pray to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.
If you like celebrating festivals with family and friends around, Diwali is the best occasion when you can plan a trip to India.