Diwali is one of India's most famous festivals. It is celebrated throughout the length and breadth of the country with great fanfare and enthusiasm. Diwali is a 5-day celebration, popular as the "Festival of Lights," where friends and families come together, light "Diyas" or earthen lamps in their homes, enjoy sweet delicacies, exchange gifts, play games, and burn crackers.
On'Amavasya 'or no moon night, the festival is observed and, according to the Hindu calendar, heralds the dawn of the New Year. It is a key to new beginnings, as it is believed that, in the middle of the dark night, Goddess Lakshmi pays a visit to the devotees' houses and blesses them with riches and peace. As it symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and hope over despair, it is called the light festival.
Diwali will be celebrated this year on November 14, 2020 (Sunday)
The meaningful history behind Diwali you must know: -
The significance of Diwali can be traced back to ancient India. Regarding the origin of this festival, there are multiple stories. Some say it is a celebration of the marriage of Lord Vishnu to Lakshmi, the goddess of abundance. Others suggest it's a birthday for Lakshmi. The most famous belief is that Diwali celebrates the return of Lord Rama from his 14-year exile to the Kingdom of Ayodhya along with Goddess Sita and Lakshman. The people of Ayodhya illuminated the entire kingdom with earthen diyas, which gave rise to the festival of lights, to reflect the joy of their king's return.
All over the country, Hindus celebrate Deepavali — the festival of lights — with the greatest joy and excitement. Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped in every house, along with precious things. After the puja comes to an end, devotees will share sweets and gifts among neighbors and relatives. Kids and elders burst crackers and light candles to mark this day.
From clothing and watches and accessories and crockery, nearly everything on the shelves is going to be rehauled. The aura of Diwali is so magical that people from all over the place come to see fervor in particular. Let's have a peek at the top five locations in India where the Diwali festivities have hit an all-time peak.
Perfect place to Witness the Festivities of Diwali in India:
Diwali falls on Thursday this year, giving it an extended weekend. This is a chance for you to see the Diwali festivities in another city in India. Although the festival of lights is celebrated with great exuberance throughout the world, there are few places that are extremely popular for their grand Diwali celebrations. Have a look.
1. Jaipur, Rajasthan
Jaipur is the imperial city itself. The city, on the occasion of Diwali, looks exquisitely stunning and royal. Jaipur needs to be at the top of it. For one thing, the decorations are amazingly wonderful.
The entire city is filled with lights and lanterns of various colors and shapes. From famous markets such as MI Lane, Nehru Bazaar, Tripoli Bazaar, and Bapu Bazaar to community centers, illuminations are exemplary. A shopping festival is held and the best-decorated market wins. Don't go back without loving the authentic Rajasthan sweets.
2. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Diwali is a complex affair in Varanasi. In the evening, a special Ganga Aarti takes place. The river is illuminated with thousands of diyas floating along its surface. The surroundings are complete with the singing of the priests, singing prayers for the goddess Ganga and Lakshmi. Fireworks never end and the Ghats represents the magic of the surreal world. It's a sight to behold, and one of the best Diwali experiences in India.
3. Kolkata, West Bengal
Although the City of Joy is at its best during Durga Puja, it doesn't get any back during Diwali. Bengalis worship the goddess Kali on Diwali and it's a very different experience to see the lights and the gatherings. Just imagine how magical the city could look during the festive season when its vibrancy is contagious even on regular days.
4. Mumbai, Maharashtra
It's not only the importance of the city that takes Mumbai to the list but the visual fireworks that make the 'City of Dreams' stand out in Diwali. You must include Zaveri Bazaar, Crawford Market, and Chira Bazaar on your list as a shopper. Marine Drive is looking all the more heavenly at this time of year. The city hosts a variety of celebrity events that are fun to attend. So go, wander around the place, shop until you collapse, splurge on some mouth-watering delicacies, and forget about a week's calories.
: Diwali celebrations begin with home decoration. People also have their houses deep-cleaned to make them more aesthetic and appealing. The decoration includes lights, diyas, and flowers. They symbolize lightness and accomplishment as they illuminate the entire world and raise up the spirits.
A big part of this festival is the creation of Rangoli, paintings rendered in color at the entrance and in the courtyards of the houses in order to welcome the goddess Laxmi.
Shopping and Gifts
: Dhanteras is probably the most exciting aspect of Diwali when people go shopping for their relatives and mates. Gifting one's relatives is a great tradition in India, particularly on Diwali, when families exchange presents as a way to wish each other a year full of happiness and prosperity.
: Holidays are often an integral part of every Hindu festival. Having said that, it's certainly a big Diwali practice. Families also share sweets such as jalebis, laddus, gujia, Kayu-kathli, kheer, halwa, and barfis. In addition, savory snacks, cauliflower pakora or fritters, paneer makhani, samosa, puri, and idli are served.
: Bursting crackers on Diwali has been one of the most important rituals of this festival ever since! Right from the basic Phooljhadi to the patatakas, to the chaklis, you'll find a variety of crackers that light up the sky. However, it's important to be mindful of the surroundings, so make sure you don't burst too many of them!
Diwali is celebrated not only in India but in other parts of the world. Every year the White House observes the importance of this day, also referred to as "Indian Christmas." Australia and New Zealand are holding a carnival festival with fairs, exorbitant performances, and cultural displays. The festival is also being celebrated in other parts of the world, such as Malaysia, Fiji, Singapore, and Europe.
Making this Diwali truly unforgettable by witnessing various cultural festivities across India. May this festival of lights bring peace, prosperity, success, happiness, and joy to all. Wishing all of you a Happy Diwali!