Diwali or Deepawali is the festival of lights and sweetness. It is basically a symbol of the victory of good over evil, brightness over darkness, and truth over falsity. Each and every legend associated with this fabulous festival gives the same message. The thick dark new-moon (Amavasya) night on which the Diwali festival is celebrated, seems like a full-moon (Purnima) night, because of the effulgent light of numerous diyas or deepaks lighted on this night. These diyasnot only make Diwali, the festival of lights, but they also symbolize the supremacy and consequence of brightness over darkness. The same message is given by the Hindu Upanishads by saying, “Asato Ma Sadgamaya”. The lighted diyas on Diwali also remind us of the same teaching of the Upanishads.
Diya can be defined as a small earthen lamp that is specially lit on Diwali for pujan and decoration purposes. A cotton wick is used in diyas, and oil or ghee serves as the burning fuel. Diyas are plain and colored, big and small, simple and fancy, and so. Different types of diyas are appropriate for different applications. Children could also make their own diyas as a fun activity on Diwali. This could be done by using clay or dough. It is better not to use a wool wick in ghee diyas.
As the festive season approaches near, markets get flooded with various types of gifts, decoration, and puja items. The crafted and designer diyas are one of the big attractions in such markets. Diyas embellished with zari, painted patterns, mirrors, etc. are quite enticing by their very appearance. Diwali melas, markets, and haats, showcase a multitude of handcrafted items made by ceramic and handicraft artists throughout the country. Diwali diyas are one of the major attractions in such markets. Besides the conventional single spout diyas, multi spout diyas like 10, 11, and 21 spout diyas, and Laxmi-Ganesha diyas can be seen in Diwali markets. Also, multicolored and vibrant colored diyas present in diwali haats and diwali melas look fabulous.
However old may be the tradition of diyas on Diwali, it has never lost its significance and charm. Diwali celebrations are incomplete and graceless without the use of Diwali diyas. There is no doubt, diyas were, are, and will remain a significant part of the Diwali festival.