Diwali is an annual Hindu event that isn’t only celebrated in India but also in other cities. The festival combines various colors, sounds, and lights. There are interesting things happening during the festival and you can enjoy tons of things – if you are interested.
There are actually many Hindu festivals but Diwali is one of the biggest. It is generally held in autumn on a yearly basis. It dates back to many centuries ago, during the ancient times, when Indian people would celebrate the end of the (summer) harvest season with style and fancy manner.
Diwali means the Festival of Lights. It is about the achievement and the winning of light over darkness – it is basically about good over evil. Based on legends, Lord Rama (or the avatar of Vishnu the Hindu god) returned home with triumphs after he had gone for 14 years in exile. The clay lamps (diyas) are lit to illuminate the path and to guide him home. Because the diyas are lit everywhere, the world is believed to cover in golden colors of the light.
It isn’t about the triumph of good over evil but also about worshiping Goddess Lakshmi. For others, Diwali can also be dedicated to her because she (is believed to) bring prosperity and wealth. In many houses, the celebrations would include worship (known as puja) where people pray for happiness and health. During this time, it is known as the (Indian) gold rush, or also silver.
The Indian people interpret the story of Diwali differently – based on the area where they live. The common theme, though, remains: it is about good over evil.
- In the northern area of India, Diwali is celebrated based on King Rama’s return after he defeated Ravana. He defeated his enemy by lighting rows of diyas
• In the southern area of India, the celebration is based on the day that Lord Khrisna won over Narakasura, the demon
• In the western area of India, the celebration is about Lord Vishnu winning over King Bali, the demon, and the day he sent the demon to rule the dark (nether) world.
So, how is the proper way to celebrate Diwali? Since the festival happens within a-5-days celebration, there are some stages that you need to follow:
- On day one, people would clean their shops, homes, and places for kitchen utensils or gold. It is believed to bring good fortune and good luck
• On day two, they will decorate the houses with clay lamps. They also create rangoli (design patterns) on the floor by using colored sands or powders
• Day three is considered the main day. Families would gather together for Lakshmi puja, which is a prayer intended for Goddess Lakshmi. Afterward, they will have feasts (generally involving tasty dishes and meals) and then followed by firework festivities
• Day four is considered the first day within the new year. During this time, relatives and friends visit together with best wishes and gifts.
• On day five, brothers usually visit their married sisters. The sisters would welcome them with a lavish meal and love.
Celebration All over the World
So, how is Diwali celebrated in other areas of the world? In Auckland, for instance, they have dance shows and live music. The events are family-friendly and involve a lot of activities. Expect to find dance performance, music shows, kids activities, and workshops. You will also find food stalls – and they provide samples too! On Sunday night, where they are ending the festival, there are huge fireworks to expect so it’s really fun!
In Melbourne, the festival generally takes place in Fed Square with live music, Bollywood performances, Indian foods, and also Indian movie screenings. It also involves fireworks and many glittering lamps – intended to light up the darkness.
Of course, the best celebration can only be experienced right there in India. So, if you are planning a trip to India, don’t forget to plan ahead and reserve a flight with Airpaz.com and choose a carrier like AirAsia.