This year Diwali being on November 9th Friday is an auspicious day for all of us!! I start waiting for Diwali many days before !! I buy new pairs of clothes and buy lots of fireworks(best part of Diwali)I paint my house, buy lots of gifts and distribute it amongst my loved ones and start bursting crackers 10 days before!!On Diwali day I get up early bathe my self and have some delicious "PENNY"(traditional sweet of Diwali) and perform Lakshmi Pooja. And I will lit some diyas and burst a lot of crackers!!After Diwali is over, i miss it a lot!...by Santosh
Diwali Preparations in Indian Homes
Diwali is one the most celebrated festival in India. The festival is the most joyous of all and is keenly awaited by the people. There is huge excitement amongst Hindus to celebrate the festival in the grandest possible way. Markets are abuzz with activity as people indulge in a major shopping spree in shops loaded with goods.
Preparations for Diwali festival begin months in advance. As there is a custom to wear new clothes in Diwali there is lot of planning in Indian houses as to who is going to wear what. Then the dress is to be matched with whole lot of accessories. A list is also prepared for gifts meant for relatives and friends. It is believed that Diwali is the best time to build relationships with thoughtful gifts presented with love. Young ones in the family are showered with gifts and blessings on Diwali.
Womenfolk make themselves busy with massive house cleaning work that is taken at this time of the year. This is because it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi - the Hindu mythological Goddess of Wealth visits only spic and span houses on Diwali. Some people even get their houses white washed every Diwali. Upholstery of the houses is redone and the house is given a fresh new look for the bright Deepawali Festival. Most Indian ladies also prepare traditional festive goodies like laddoos, pinnis, mathri, papdi and shakkar pare days before the festival thus setting the mood for Diwali.
For children the biggest joy that Diwali brings is the opportunity to burn crackers. They start collecting money in their piggy banks months before the festival so that they are able to purchase the fanciest and loudest of all crackers. They just love the bright and boisterous part of the Diwali celebrations.
People staying away from their homes make it a point to visit their family on Diwali. They start making preparations by getting air or rail tickets booked days in advance. There is a huge pressure on transport services at this point in time as everybody wants to reach home at the time of Diwali Puja.... by Ruchi Sinha; Age 23 The Day of Diwali
The day of Diwali in Indian homes if full of excitement and activity. Rituals begin early in the morning and continue till late in the evening. People wake up early and clean up their houses. Torans are put up on doors and the traditional alpana or rangoli is decorated in the front courtyard to welcome guests.
In North India, there is a tradition to buy ‘laiyya - lawa’ which are forms of puffed rice. These are bought along with sugar toys that come in the shape of animals. Children particularly enjoy the shapes of these sweets. Earthen lamps called Diwali diyas are bought in bulk by the people. Hindus also get a new pair of artistic Lakshmi Ganesha idol for Lakshmi Puja that is to be held later in the evening.
Fresh sweets are prepared by lady of the house on Diwali. This could be laddoos, kheer, halwa or any other special sweet dish. Gifts to be given to relatives are packed by children. When all is ready and done people start visiting each other and exchange gifts and Diwali Greetings with a warm hug and lots of best wishes.
In the evening, people dress up in bright new clothes. Ladies deck themselves with heavy gold jewelry and adorn their hair with flower strands or gajras. Diyas are lighted in every corner of the house. Some even illuminate their house with strands of electric bulbs. When everything is set it is time for Lakshmi Puja. All family members gather in the worship room and perform Puja follwed by arti. People pray to God for prosperity and happiness in their lives and in the lives of those around them.
A lavish family dinner follows Puja. And then comes the time to celebrate Diwali with crackers. The sky presents a resplendent view with glowing sparks of crackers. There is jubilation and joy all around....by Ravi Thapar; Age 17
Divali is an important feature in the Hindu religion. We celebrate Divali as the day Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after defeating the Devil Ravana. In Divali, we light diyas or oil lamps all around our homes. Our parents make sweets and other goodies. We give food to those who need. We invite our family, friends and relatives over. In Divali we light fire crackers, rattlers and fire sticks. There are many fireworks in the night of this festival....by Rahul Pedagandham
Diwali is one of the most spirited and important festival. It was on the day of Diwali that Lord Ramji had come from a war with the evil Ravan. Diwali festival celebrates the arrival of Ramji in Ayodhya.
Here, I will share my experiences of Diwali that I celebrated with my family in Oct,2004. My family and I had loads of fun on this day not only because there were lots of food or firecrackers but because we were all together and that matters most. Now I will explain to you what we do on this lovely day. When we wake up, we clean our house inside and out. We do this because Goddess Laxmi will be visiting us then we take a bath and wear new clothes. Then we all pray to god and invite our friends. In the evening, we light big and small light diyas all around the house. We also play a couple of games and enjoy ourselves. When darkness hits we start the firecrackers. I love seeing firecrackers because they produce so many bright colors in the sky. This is followed by the big feast. I love the food that my mom makes like puri, sweets and much much more. After that everyone leaves and we again pray to God for a magnificent Diwali day!!!!...by Geetu Bhanot The Festival of Lights
Diwali is known as "The Festival of Lights" and celebrated in the religion of Hinduism. Oil lamps made out of clay are lit to symbolize celebration and hope for mankind. This festival is celebrated for five days at the end of the Hindu month Ashwayuja which would be during late October and early November. It’s one of the most popular festivals that Hindus eagerly wait for. At dusk Diwali celebrators light their lamps (diyas) and perform a pooja (ceremony/prayer) to Goddess Lakshmi asking for wealth and prosperity. They also give money to the poor and homeless. Another bright tradition is to set off firecrackers. Firecrackers as well as diyas symbolize the battle between Lord Rama and King Ravana. They visit friends and family and exchange gifts and sweets.
The most prominent belief of Diwali is the return of Lord Rama from his exile in the forests and his victory over the demon king Ravana. But there are several different beliefs of the origin of Diwali. Such as, the day when Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura. Another belief is that Diwali originated as the day when King Bali obeyed the order of Vishnu and went to rule the nether-world. Diwali is considered one of the foremost holidays in Hinduism and is my favorite Hindu holiday....by Meghana