Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the most vibrant and cherished festivals in India. This special occasion is celebrated with great enthusiasm, symbolising the victory of light over darkness and good over evil.
Let’s take a deep dive into the significance of Diwali and help you and your loved ones get involved in the joyful celebrations, including tips for decorations, gifting and more!
When Is Diwali?
Diwali is a Hindu festival that falls on a different day each year, as its timing is based on the Hindu lunar calendar. Specifically, it occurs on the 15th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Kartik. This corresponds to the month of October or November in the Gregorian calendar. Diwali is celebrated over the span of several days, with the main festival day falling on the third day.
For 2023, Diwali is expected to be celebrated on the 12th of November, which is the main day of the festival. However, please note that these dates can vary slightly based on regional and cultural differences, as well as the specific lunar calculations followed by different communities.
The festival of Diwali is not confined to one specific day but is typically celebrated over a period of five days, each with its own significance and customs. The five days of Diwali are as follows:
- Dhanteras Day – This marks the beginning of the Diwali festivities. It is considered to be a great time for purchasing gold, silver and other valuable items. People also clean and decorate their homes by creating rangoli designs on their doorsteps.
- Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali – Choti Diwali translates to ‘Small Diwali’, and it is believed to be the day when Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura. People often light oil lamps to symbolise the victory of light over darkness.
- Diwali – Day three is the main day of the festival, celebrated with great enthusiasm. Homes are illuminated with oil lamps and decorative lights. People will offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi for wealth and prosperity and seek blessings for the upcoming year.
- Govardhan Puja – This day commemorates Lord Krishna’s act of lifting the Govardhan Hill to protect the villagers from torrential rain. It’s not unusual for people to create small hills of food to symbolise the event during the fourth day of Diwali.
- Bhai Dooj – On this day, sisters pray for the well-being of their brothers and perform the ritual of light to ensure their longevity. Brothers will, in turn, give their sisters gifts as a gesture of love and protection.
How To Prepare For Diwali
Preparing for Diwali involves a combination of spiritual, cultural and practical steps to ensure a joyful and meaningful celebration.
Cleaning and Decluttering
Begin by thoroughly cleaning your home, this symbolises the removal of any negativity and welcomes positivity into your home. Diwali is a great time to declutter your space and organise your belongings to create a fresh and inviting environment.
Decorate your home
Typically done on day one of the celebrations, you will want to create beautiful rangoli designs at your doorstep using coloured powers, rice or flower petals. You can also hang torans made of flower leaves or other decorative materials. Light is an integral part of Diwali, so you will want to illuminate your home with oil lamps, fairy lights or any decorative lights you may find. Don’t forget our range of Diwali partyware to serve your guests and add vibrance to your home.
Wearing new attire is a traditional part of Diwali, so you will want to buy new clothes for yourself and your family in preparation for the celebrations.
Decide on the dishes you want to prepare for Diwali. Traditional sweets and savouries include ladoos, barfis, and chaklis. Make sure you prepare the food in advance so you are not overwhelmed and can immerse yourself in the festivities.
You will want to buy your family, friends and neighbours Diwali gifts, these can include sweets, dry fruits, candles and decorative items. Don’t feel stuck to that list, but try to tie your gifts in with the theme of the festivities.
Significant Spiritual and Ritual Aspects Of Diwali
Diwali is not only a festival of lights and celebration, it also holds deep spiritual and ritual significance in Hindu culture. The festival is associated with various mythological stories and rituals that carry important messages and teachings.
Light Over Dark
Diwali symbolises the victory of light over darkness, which represents the triumph of knowledge over ignorance and good over evil. Lighting oil lamps and decorating homes with lights is a way of illuminating both the outer world and one’s inner self with positivity and wisdom.
Worship of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha
Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, and abundance, is worshipped during Diwali. Devotees seek her blessings for a prosperous and successful life. Puja is performed with devotion, and offerings of sweets, fruits, and flowers are made to the goddess.
Before the celebrations, Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, is traditionally worshipped. On Diwali, people invoke Lord Ganesha’s blessings for a smooth and successful life.
Inner Cleansing and Renewal
Diwali is also a time for inner cleansing and renewal. People engage in self-reflection, letting go of negativity, and seeking personal transformation. This period encourages individuals to rid themselves of bad habits and cultivate positive virtues.
Family and Community
Diwali is a time when families and communities come together to celebrate and strengthen their bonds. Sharing meals, exchanging gifts, and participating in rituals foster a sense of unity and togetherness.
Giving and Charity
Participating in acts of charity and giving to those in need is an important aspect of Diwali. Donating food, clothing, or money to the less fortunate is believed to bring blessings and good karma.
Diwali is a time of immense joy, unity, and celebration. Hopefully, you are now well-equipped to celebrate Diwali in all its glory!
Remember Diwali is not just about lighting up your home, but lighting up your heart with positivity, love, and gratitude.