Another year, another festival to celebrate. India has one of the best celebrations we can hope for, the Festival of Lights, Diwali or Deepavali, literally translating to row of lamps, this is one event I have longed to see for a number of years. This November is the month to go and enjoy this holiday in India.
The festival symbolizes the spiritual darkness going away or more like the lights that Indians have outside of their homes, represent their inner light coming forward to protect against the darkness. There are five days in the festival, each with a significant reason behind it and here are those reasons.
5 Days of Diwali
- Day 1: This is when the cleansing begins, starting at your home while doing a little shopping for some gold and/or kitchenware.
- Day 2: The time for your inner designer to come out, on this day the clay lamps can be seen in front of all the houses, while designs of colourful powders or sand called ‘rangoli’ decorate the floors.
- Day 3: The long awaited festival, families come together and celebrate the festivities while praying to the Goddess Lakshmi during the ‘Lakshmi puja’. Afterwards the feasts commence and the fireworks light up the skies.
- Day 4: Pretty similar to Christmas Day, since on this day families visit each other with gifts and a bundle of good wishes for the new season.
- Day 5: The last day of the Festival of Lights, a time for brothers to visit their sisters, the ones that are married, during this special meetings, the sisters receive them with a feast and a home full of love.
Those are the primary days in Diwali, though the celebration’s structure might be similar all around, the reasons for it are different in each region of the country.
Diwali by Region
Each region of India has its own reasons for celebrating Diwali, these are the main three ones.
- To the South: Indians celebrate the festival because it was the day that the Lord Krishna won against the demon named Narakasura.
- To the North: Here they celebrate the return of King Rama to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana.
- To the West: Indians in this region remember the day as the one when Lord Vishnu dispatched the King Bali, a demon, to rule the nether world. Vishnu is one of the main Gods of the Hindu Trinity, along with Vishnu and Brahma.
One thing is clear and that is that all the regions celebrate the banishment of a demon, hence reinforcing the main theme of the festival, the protection against spiritual darkness. There are two non-hindu celebrations which take place as well, one in Jainism and the other in the Sikhism community.
If ever comes a day that we are in Asia, around the end of the year then this is the festival to be. A beautiful celebration which will help our inner light be stronger in the next season or year. If you share my strong appreciation for foreign lands and their celebrations then I hope our paths cross one day.
Enjoy the adventures and have a nice day or night.