Bring some light into your life and celebrate Diwali this year. Diwali is a five-day festival which is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains all around the world and originated in India. Nearly one billion people celebrate Diwali every year! This year Diwali will be celebrated on 14th November. The dates change every year as the festival is based on the lunar calendar.
Why Is Diwali Celebrated?
The word Diwali originates from the Sanskrit work deepavali, meaning row of lighted lamps. It is the celebration of Ram and Sita (Hindu deities) returning to Ayodhya after their 14 year exile. The people of Ayodhya lit up the city with candles and oil lamps, called diyas, so they could find their way back home. It is the celebration of good triumphing over evil as Rama defeated king Ravana.
The lights and lamps are said to help Lakshmi find her way into peoples’ home. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, purity and auspiciousness. Hence, the lights welcome Lakshmi and prosperity in the year to come!
How Can You Celebrate Diwali?
Rangoli is a popular Diwali tradition which is a design that is made with colourful powders, rice or flowers on the floor outside of your home to welcome guests. This is the perfect activity for you and your friends or your children to celebrate Diwali. You can get really creative and come up with your own patterns!
Diwali is the perfect time to enjoy time with your friends and family. People often get together to feast, exchange gifts and sweets. If you are feeling adventurous try my personal favourite Indian sweet, the gulab jamun! They are berry sized milk based sweets covered in a sugar syrup. If you have a sweet tooth, gulab jamun will be a massive game changer for you.
Another tradition is to wear new clothes and watch firework displays. With coronavirus, you might not be able to catch a firework display but fear not! Get some sparklers and light them up in your back yard. As a child this was my favourite part of celebrating Diwali.
The 5 Days Explained
Each of the five days signify something different so here is a break of what each day means:
12TH November – Day One
The first day is known as ‘Dhanteras’. Being one of the most auspicious days in the year it is a custom to purchase something precious. People clean and decorate their homes on this day.
13th November – Day Two
‘Naraka Chaturdas’ or ‘Kali Chaudas’ is celebrated by taking a holy bath and wearing new clothes to remove all sins and impurities.
14th November – Day Three
The third day is the main Diwali festival. This day is celebrated by performing ‘Lakshmi Puja’, worshipping the Goddess Lakshmi, which brings good fortune. Lights are placed around the house and families exchange gifts with each other.
15th November – Day Four
The fourth day is ‘Govardhan Puja’ or ‘Padva’. It is the day when Lord Krishna defeated Indra by lifting the huge Govardhan Mountain.
16th November – Day Five
The last day is known as ‘Bhai Dooj’. Sisters pray for long and happy lives for their brothers and invite them over for a meal. Brothers usually give gifts to their sisters on this day.
Will you be celebrating Diwali this year? Share your rangolis with us on Instagram (@loveyourselfhq)