Autumn officially kick starts the holiday season around the globe with one being Diwali, the festival of light. Diwali or Deepavali is a super festive holiday that is celebrated with anticipation, excitement, and grandeur. Firecrackers, oil lamps, and gifts – the mere mention of Diwali is the epitome of celebration.
Diwali signifies the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.” Read more about Diwali, Dharma, and Resistance.
Additionally, Jains and Sikhs celebrate their own festivals along with Diwali. For Jains, it marks the spiritual awakening of Lord Mahavira. Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas which marks the release of Guru Hargobind from imprisonment.
Diwali is an official holiday in India, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Fiji, and Guyana. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali generally falls between mid-October and mid-November. This year, the light festival will begin on Saturday, October 22, 2022, and will end on Wednesday, October 26, 2022. Diwali is celebrated over 5 days:
Day 1- Dhanteras
Diwali festivities are kicked off by people thoroughly cleaning their homes and businesses. It is a major shopping day as people shop for all sorts of things ranging from home equipment and utensils to gold and silver jewelry as it is considered a sign of good fortune. This day is dedicated purely to the goddess of wealth and good fortune, Lakshmi. People place diyas around their houses for the next five days. Dhanteras represents an auspicious beginning for the new year.
Day 2 – Naraka-Chaturdasi (Choti Diwali)
Preparations continue for day 3 which is the most important day of the light festival. People wake up early for a holy bath and wear new clothes before sunrise. The holy bath is said to remove all sins and impurities. This is followed by a visit to the temple. People prepare delicious and elaborate meals and desserts. They decorate their homes with lanterns and create rangolis using colorful powder and sand.
Day 3 – Lakshmi Puja
The third day is the primary day of Diwali where families gather together to perform Lakshmi puja. This is followed by a big food feast and fireworks. Gifts are exchanged. Distribution of sweets also known as “prasad” is given. Diyas are placed in every room of the house. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi visits homes bringing blessings of wealth and prosperity.
Day 4- Govardhan Puja
The fourth day is the first day of the bright fortnight of the lunisolar calendar. In some parts of India, the fourth day of Diwali celebrates the bond of a husband and wife. Husbands give gifts to their wives. In other places, parents invite their newlywed daughter or son for a festive dinner and give them gifts.
Businesses open new accounts on this day as it’s considered auspicious. In rural areas of India, this day is dedicated to lord Krishna who saved farming areas from torrential rain and flooding. Members of the community prepare elaborate dishes with special ingredients which are first dedicated to Krishna and then shared within the community.
Day 5 – Bhai-Dooj
The fifth day marks the end of the light festival. Bhai-Dooj celebrates the bond of brothers and sisters. Brothers travel to their sister’s house for a fancy home-cooked meal. Sisters put tilak on their brothers’ foreheads. Puja is performed praying for the brothers’ long prosperous life. Brothers are hand fed by their sisters and gifts are given.
Observances of Diwali differ depending on region and traditions as celebrations in North India differ from those in South India. People in different parts of India celebrate Diwali with various practices and rituals. A couple of common themes are the lighting of diyas and the gathering of family and friends.
No Indian festival is complete without food, Diwali is a good time to indulge in delicious foods and sweets guilt-free. Read all about the delicious foods eaten during this festive occasion in our previous blog, Diwali, A Festival Of Flavors
Additionally, check out our brand new scrumptious Diwali recipe videos Ras Malai Cake Jars, Coconut Ladoos with Rose, and Diwali Charcuterie Board. We recommend trying these out-of-ordinary delicious dessert recipes during the upcoming Diwali and it is guaranteed to leave your guests talking about it for days.
Diwali is a time for new beginnings and celebrating life with your loved ones and making new memories with your nearest and dearest. Patel Brothers wish you and your family a Shubh Diwali!