Bhubaneswar, Nov 6: Diwali, the biggest Hindu festival, is just around the corner, and people are actively preparing for it, from acquiring new attire to tidying their dwellings. This year, the Festival of Lights will be celebrated with immense enthusiasm on Sunday, November 12th. During this time of year, every window and street is radiant, showcasing the magnificence of Diwali to the world.
Homes dispel darkness by illuminating one another with lanterns, clay lamps, and fairy lights. India, being a melting pot of cultures with a wide array of beliefs and traditions, witnesses diverse Diwali rituals across different regions.
As the festival commemorates the return of Lord Rama, his wife Sita, brother Lakshman, and Hanuman to Ayodhya after vanquishing Ravana, it is predominantly celebrated in Northern India. On the night of Diwali, people light clay pots known as diyas, symbolizing their return on Amavasya, a moonless night. In contrast, South Indians observe this occasion as the day when Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura. It is also believed that Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi were united in marriage on this day.
Here are some essential Diwali customs and traditions that provide insights into this celebration.
- Illuminating Diyas and Lamps: To signify the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil, individuals light traditional oil lamps called diyas and decorative candles in and around their homes.
- Rangoli Art: Elaborate patterns and designs made on the floor using colorful powders, rice, or flower petals are used to adorn homes and welcome guests. Diwali celebrations are incomplete without the vibrant hues of rangoli.
- Firecracker Displays: Traditionally, fireworks and crackers are ignited during Diwali to symbolize the victory of light over darkness. However, modern concerns for the environment have led people to avoid burning crackers.
- Gift Exchanges: On this day, people visit their families and friends, and it is customary to exchange gifts and sweets as tokens of affection and goodwill.
- Home Decoration: Homes are meticulously cleaned and embellished with colorful decorations, flower garlands, and strings of lights to create a festive ambiance. It is believed that the goddess Lakshmi will only visit clean homes.