Diwali or Deepawali is a festival celebrated by the Hindu community of India but is majorly popular all over the world. It is also fondly called the festival of lights viewing the way it is celebrated which makes the whole country look lit and drenched in lights. This festival has got its religious roots from one of the great Hindu epics Ramayana, which describes return of great legend Lord Rama to his kingdom Ayodhya after completing 14 years of his exile on this very day. It is said that it was a night of full moon so people lighted Diyas (oil lamps) and candles outside their homes to welcome the Lord. They also busted firecrackers, which one should absolutely stay away from. These firecrackers are very harmful for the environment and they can also be extremely dangerous for the one lighting them and also for the people around. Though firecrackers seem to be almost a synonym with Diwali but there are many other things that you should get yourself into rather than increasing pollution by burning firecrackers. Here is a list of 10 such awesome things that can be done on Diwali!
10. Indulge in Sweets
Diwali is that time of the year when you get a guilt free pass to indulge in as much sweets as you want without worrying about weight gain (hit the gym afterwards!) or having to hear taunts from family members for eating too much sweet. Ladoos, barfis, halwa, ras malai, there is so much variety out there and it is just so tempting isn’t it? You can make these in your own kitchen with a little guidance from the internet or your old recipe book and most of the ingredients are easily available or if you are one lazy lad then take a stroll in market to buy loads of sweets for yourself and your dear ones and celebrate Diwali on a sweet note, literally.
9. Buy loads of gifts
Besides being a religious festival, Diwali has also become a chance for get together among families and friends who don’t get much time to catch up otherwise. And when you go meet your loved ones on this auspicious festive occasion, you cannot afford to go empty handed, can you? So buy gifts for everyone around you and surprise them with something special. Your love and affection for them is all that matters but nobody minds a gift or two! True isn’t it?
8. Shop for clothes!
Once you are done with buying gifts for others, it’s time to get a little selfish! Its festive season and there are huge discounts and sales all around so what are you waiting for? Shop for more ethnic attires as going ethnic is the way for Diwali. Lehangas and Sarees for the girls and Sherwanis and Kurta pyjamas for the guys, become a hot trend during this time. So, buy something traditional and dress up your ethnic best with a traditional yet glammed up look to rock the Diwali celebrations this season.
7. Celebrate Dhanteras
Diwali is not a one day festival but is celebrated 5 day long. Dhanteras is the auspicious festival celebrated on the first day of this festive week, two days before the actual Diwali. Dhanteras literally means “Dhan” i.e. wealth and “Tera” which means the 13th day of the month Ashwin Diwali is celebrated in as per Hindu calendar. To venerate this occasion, people line up at jewelers to buy loads of gold or silver jewelry. You can also buy utensils to seek blessings from the Goddess of lustre. The popularity of this occasion can be seen by sighting the percentage by which jewelry sales rise up every year. Due to this, this makes a significant festival for the business community as well.
6. Make a Rangoli
Making Rangolis have been an essential part of Diwali since a very long time. It takes a lot of creativity and skills but the end results can be totally jaw-dropping. I have seen so many people who are experts in Rangoli making and can make intricate to intricate of designs with such ease and finesse. But if you are an amateur, then you can start with simple ones. It can be really fun and you will enjoy yourself while making a Rangoli. A conventional Rangoli requires dry colors but one may also incorporate flower petals or leaves to make their Rangoli even more beautiful. Many schools, colleges and corporate house even hold Rangoli making competitions on Diwali one can take part in.
5. Decorate your house
You just cannot celebrate Diwali without decorating your house. It is believed that on the occasion of Diwali, goddess Laxmi visits every household bringing luck and prosperity for the whole family. To welcome the goddess, people clean their houses and decorate them with lights, diyas, and torans. You can see markets abuzz with such decorative items during the Diwali season and can buy many different varieties of decorative items or one can make torans at home itself. Decorating the house in its possible best is a common activity at Diwali.
4. Get Together
As I already mentioned that Diwali is an opportunity for people to get together with their friends and relatives which one may call as “Milans”. Celebrating the festival with your near and dear ones increases love and happiness among all. You visit your relatives’ place, exchange gifts and have a gala time. People spend time together playing games, satiating in delicious food or going for Diwali parties. If there are no party plans for you then all the relatives may come and meet at one’s place and get into Diwali games. Like playing cards has become a popular culture and people enjoy casual betting on the game of cards.
3. Visit a Temple
While buying gifts, visiting relatives and decorating our house, we cannot neglect the true essence of Diwali which is the defeat of evil by the hands of good. Lord Rama defeated the evil demon Ravana and came back to Ayodhya. To celebrate his victory and return to his homeland, people visit temples, or more commonly known as Mandirs. They sit down over there with offerings and listen to the preacher or the Pandit in the temple.
2. Perform Pujas and prayers
Other than visiting temples, pujas are also performed at home. Goddess Lakshmi, who is believed to be the goddess of wealth and prosperity is said to come into the house of those who worship her on this day. In order to seek blessings and gain prosperity, Lakshmi Pujas are held in every household. People open up their doors and windows to welcome the goddess. Some people also have Govardhan Puja in their houses which is dedicated to Lord Krishna in commemoration of the legend of Mount Govardhan. It is said that Lord Krishna lifted up the mountain to rescue people who were punished by Lord Indra with downpour of water and floods. So get your puja thaals ready with sweets and idols of god and goddess to perform Diwali puja.
1. Spread love and happiness
If all the religions of this world come together to express one message then it will be to ensure peace and harmony and spread and cherish love around us. Diwali is also an opportunity to get your soul synced with god and spread love and happiness everywhere you can The festival is all about triumph of goodness, happiness, prosperity and worships. And the simplest way of worshiping god is by loving his creations and making others happy.
So this Diwali, instead of burning up thousands of rupees in crackers and sickening the environment with tonnes of smoke, stick to more authentic and eco-friendly ways for celebrating Diwali with your near and dear ones. And try awakening all others around you about the ill effects of fire crackers and goodness of the other things that are special about Diwali.
“Say No to FireCrackers”
If you know of other great things that can be done on Diwali please share with us below in comments.