India is very famous for celebrations of religious festivals.
There are many, but some of the most famous are Holi and Diwali.
You probably know Holi, the festival of colours. The date changes every year according to the lunar calendar. In 2022 Holi will be March 29, 2022.
But do you know about Diwali? You may have already seen Diwali celebrations on Instagram or in a Bollywood movie. It is the "Indian Festival of Lights".
I don't know everything about Diwali, neither about Indian culture and rituals. Let me introduce you to this festival with the knowledge my dear family-in-law taught me. Ready?
This festival lasts 5 days and is usually celebrated in October or November. Again, the date changes every year based on the lunar calendar. The Diwali date for this year is November 4, 2021.
The meaning of Diwali in Sanskrit is light. Diwali is the celebration of the victory of good over evil, of light over darkness. 🪔
The celebrations depend on the regions in India but are all associated with the Goddess of Prosperity, Lakshmi.
A few days or weeks before Diwali we usually buy coloured powder to decorate our house and make rangolis, colourful decorations made on the ground.
We also buy firecrackers (a lot of firecrackers ... 😅). It's a bit of a competition between neighbours on who will make the most noise.
We also use diyas that are small oil lanterns.
Diwali is also an opportunity to cleanse your home to welcome light and new good energies.
On D-Day, we put beautiful clothes. It is an opportunity for women to put on their most beautiful saris and jewellery.
Dhanteras, the first day of the Diwali festival
According to the Hindu religion, Dhanteras would be a good day to make new purchases. It is therefore often the day chosen for shopping for Diwali. We buy firecrackers, decorations, flowers, special lanterns for Diwali called Diya, also jewellery. We worship Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity during this day.
For the puja, we gather our precious things to worship it: gold, jewellery, money and anything that help you make money. For example, your laptop if you are working online, your business card and so on.
Dhanteras is also the day of the creation of Ayurveda which is why we worship God Dhanvantari for health.
Roop Chaturdashi, the second day of the Diwali festival
This year Roop Chaturdashi is celebrated one day before the Puja for Lakshmi, on November 3 this year.
This day is celebrated differently across the country. In my family, it is a silent day, a day of rest.
After cleaning our home for the past month, we take rest before Diwali day. It is also generally the day when ladies get ready beautifully with all jewellery and makeup.
Diwali day: Lakshmi puja, the third day of the Diwali Festival
According to mythology, on this day Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after killing Ravana. This is the main festive day of Diwali: the home is decorated with flowers, rangolis and light.
It is a joyful day, celebrated with prayers, sweets, diyas and sometimes exchanging gifts. On this day we are worshipping the Goddess Lakshmi to be blessed with luck and prosperity, as well as Lord Ganesha.
The day after Diwali we celebrate Govardhan Puja by worshipping Lord Krishna.
This day, Krishna lifted the Govardhan Hill on his finger to protect those who sought his refuge from Indra's rage in form of heavy monsoon.
The last day of the Diwali festival celebrates the bond between brother and sister. Sisters pray for the long and happy life of their brothers and ask for their blessing and protection by putting a tilak on their forehead.
This mark the end of the Diwali celebration as siblings get together and exchange gift, sweets and presents.
I hope you enjoy this trip to India and the beautiful Diwali. 🪔
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