Diwali is celebrated with zeal by many communities throughout the Indian diaspora. It is a five-day celebration where families get together, friends get together, lamps and diyas are lit, and sweet treats are consumed. This event is held on Amavasya, or ‘no moon day,’ and signals the start of the Hindu calendar’s New Year. It also heralds new beginnings as we open new cheque books and diaries and clean our homes.
Each region of India is unique, but the light unifies us all during this festival. Everywhere you walk, you’ll see Indians celebrating this cherished and important occasion. This is also a perfect day to exchange Diwali gifts and show your love to your loved ones.
This festival commemorates Lord Krishna’s defeat of the evil demon Nakarasura. Krishna is reported to have gone home early in the morning after killing the demon. The womenfolk massaged the scented oil into his skin and bathed him to remove the grime from his body. Taking a bath before daybreak on this day has since become a practice, notably in Maharashtra. On this day, Maharashtrians perform the Lakshmi-Pujan, in which they worship Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. During this day, guests are provided with various delicious delicacies such as chivda, chakli, Shankar-pale, anarse, Kada boli, karanji, shev, charlotte, and so on. During the Diwali festival, Diwali sweets and Diwali presents are exchanged amongst friends and family. Rangolis are also quite popular during the Diwali season in Maharashtra.
Maharashtra, on the other hand, begins Diwali celebrations on a softer and more spiritual note. The celebration begins with the Vasu Baras rite. An aarti is cooked for a mother cow and her calf, symbolizing mother and child love. Locals keep an all-day fast, interrupted only by one meal. Diwali is regarded as a dynamic time in the state, and this ceremony is undertaken to counterbalance some of the instability. When this rite is completed, the cities come to life. If you’re near Marine Drive in Mumbai, don’t miss out on a fantastic firework display. One of the busiest train stations, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, is decorated in Diwali colors and is a sight to behold.
On this day, the children visit their elders, such as grandparents and other elderly community members. Between Dhanteras and Lakshmi Pujan, business owners give their staff gifts or bonus schemes. On this day, stores either do not open or close early to allow employees to spend time with their families.
Puja rites are performed in the offices of shopkeepers and small businesses. Unlike other festivals, Hindus do not generally fast throughout the five-day Diwali celebration, which includes Lakshmi Pujan; instead, they feast and enjoy the season’s abundance at their businesses, community centers, temples, and homes.
Diwali is a time to abandon any diet plans or fitness programs. There is a lot of food, especially sweets, throughout the five days of celebration. During celebrations, these Diwali sweets: chakli, peda, barfi, and laddoo, are popular. Almost all sweets contain broken fragments of dry fruits.
Diwali appears to be one of India’s most important shopping festivals because it is considered auspicious for purchasing new items. It is considered auspicious to purchase gold and silver coins and jewelry on the first day of Dhanteras. Utensils and other kitchenware are also regarded as smart buys on this occasion. People buy electronics, toys, furniture, clothes, and other items for themselves and gifts. Because it is also a fantastic time to invest, new homes and vehicles are in high demand during this season.
Laxmi Puja is a prominent Diwali ritual in which prayers are presented to Goddess Laxmi in exchange for a better year filled with money, peace, and prosperity. This is accomplished by burning an oil lamp in front of the idol and performing prayers that comprise hymns and chants dedicated to Lord Laxmi. In addition, to receive the goddess’s blessings, people clean the idol with gangajal or milk and water, apply haldi and kumkum, and bring flowers, sweets, and coconut to her.
Diwali heralds the start of a new year. Cleaning and beautifying are rituals that are carried out to make this time more aesthetically appealing and comfortable. Rangoli designs are utilized to beautify the entrance and courtyards as a symbolic gesture to welcome Goddess Laxmi. Colored rice, flour, and flower petals are among the materials used to create these patterns