Diwali festival is one of the most colourful festivals in India. It is not celebrated only in India but across the world. Few days before this festival one can see a large number of people doing shopping in the markets, people print their houses in a colourful way; people lighten their houses with electronics bulbs and diyas. Everywhere you will see joy and happiness related to this festival.
Diwali-Festival of Lights
But how we are seeing Diwali in 2020? An era of pandemic Coronavirus (Covid-19).
This pandemic has changed the taste of many. People have just locked themselves in houses instead of enjoying outside. Where children start enjoying this festival a few weeks before Diwali now they are bound with their mobile phones. They are not enjoying as they used to enjoy. No doubt, restrictions pertaining to lockdown are less now but still social distancing is most needed thing to make. Though 2020 is a pandemic year for the world where people are preventing to meet their relatives & friends as they used to meet. One thing is sure, it is very hard to remove the inner joy pertaining to Diwali festival. It will always have great importance in everyone’s life. So, we will tell you about the festival Diwali, its importance, how it is celebrated and places where this festival is celebrated in a grand way
What is Diwali festival and how it is celebrated?
Diwali, the festival of lights, is the biggest and the most important festival in India. This festival is also named as Deepawali which comes from words clay lamps (Deepa) and row(awali). So, Deepawali refers to the rows of well-lit clay lamps on the night of every day which seems to lighthouses, streets and country. But in actual it symbolizes the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness.Deepawali festival has an important historic background. This festival is celebrated after the exact 20 days of Dussehra. On this day, Hindu God, Lord Rama, the King of Ayodhya, returned from the exile of 14 years. Whole Ayodhaya illuminated clay lamps to welcome Lord Rama and to show their happiness. On remembrance of that day, this festival is celebrated every year with enormous joy and excitement. Not only Hindus but Non-Hindu communities like Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism also celebrate this festival with full joy. For Sikhs, Diwali is particularly important because it honors the day that Guru Hargobind Ji, the sixth Sikh Guru and 52 other princes were freed from imprisonment by Emperor Jahangir in 1619. Sikhs lightened the whole Golden Temple with decorative lights for showing their happiness and this tradition continues to date.
What people do on or before Diwali festival?
For the preparation of Diwali festival, people clean their homes and shops. They buy gold and kitchen utensils to help bring good fortune. Homes are decorated with clay lamps and design patterns called Rangoli on the floors using colored powders.
People visit their friends and relatives with gifts and sweets. All the family members gather together in the evening for Lakshmi Puja. Lakshmi Puja is one of the important rituals that people perform during the Diwali festival. They perform this ritual to invite Goddess Lakshmi at home. They offer prayers to the Goddess so that the new year is filled with peace and prosperity. Laksmi Puja is followed by lighting an oil lamp in front of Maa Lakshmi and mouth-watering feasts and fireworks. There is a ritual in India, people illuminate candles and diyas at the main gate of their houses. They also don’t switch off the lights at night while sleeping. They believe Goddess Lakshmi visits their houses at night. The reason behind the switch on the lights at night is that dark is the symbol of evil and light is the symbol of good.
If you are delighted to know about Diwali festival and want to enjoy this festival at its best, you must know about the places where this festival is celebrated in a grand way.
There is a very famous quote about Diwali in Amritsar
“Dal Roti Ghar Di,
Diwali Ambarsar Di….”
Which means there is no better celebration of Diwali festival other than Amritsar.
One of the spectacular Diwali to witness is in Amritsar. As explained earlier Diwali holds an important role in Sikh history, so Diwali festival is holy for Sikhs also. In Sikh religion Diwali festival is also termed as ‘Bandi Chor Divas’.
Thousands of pilgrims gather at Golden Temple to celebrate this day. Within the temple, people light thousands of candles around the holy pond. Many pilgrims brave the chilly weather and take a dip in the pond as well. The wonderful display of fireworks is the best scene that is enjoyed by the visitors in the temple and also this can be seen in the best way from the rooftops of the surrounding buildings. People capture this grand celebration in photographs and videos as a beautiful memory. The temple feeds ‘Langar’ to thousands of people each day, so Diwali is no exception.
Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Rama so this city is also known as the divine city. According to Mythology, Diwali is actually started from this place when Lord Rama came back to Ayodhaya after the exile of 14 years. On that day, the whole city illuminated clay-lamps to welcome Lord Rama to show their happiness. In Ayodhya, Deepawali is celebrated with enormous joy. In this Diwali festival (2020) The State Government intends to make this mega event grand.
Uttar Pradesh Government is planning to celebrate this Diwali festival by illuminating approx 6 Lakhs clay-lamps or diyas which were 3,00,000 last year. Last year on Diwali, State Government illuminated 3,01,152 clay-lamps which were entered in the Guinness Book of World Records. Many big events are held on this day at various places to show the joy of this festival. Tourists from all over the country throng at Ayodhaya to see the glorious view of this festival.
The eternal city Varanasi on the bank of River Ganga has its own unique style of celebrating Diwali festival. While most Hindus celebrate this festival on the new moon (Amavasya), Varanasi waits a whole fortnight and after 15 nights on the full moon (Poornima), the holy city celebrates Dev Deepawali or Diwali of gods. It is believed that gods and goddesses visit the earth for a dip in the river. Another belief is that city’s patron deity, Shiva defeated the demon Tripurasura.
For most travelers, Varanasi is a dream destination. People from all around the world come and stays to witness the celebration of Dev Deepawali. While the sky grows dark, thousands of colored diyas (lamps) put afloat into the river. Floating diyas throughout the full span of the lake makes the scene genuinely unforgettable.
Diwali is also very popular in Jaipur and Udaipur. On this occasion, the view of the whole city is worth seeing. The King of the City Palace of Jaipur decorates the whole city with colourful lights every year. Forts like Jaigarh, Nahargarh is completely lit with the clay lamps and beautiful lights on this day. Markets are also very well decorated. Many artists show their arts and sell their handicrafts products.
I hope these places are enough to visit on this occasion and this post is enough convincing for all to celebrate the Diwali festival in a grand way. If you feel that we miss any great place, then feel free to share with us and also tell us how people celebrate Diwali festival in your city. Your valuable suggestions are always welcome.
Thank You and Wish you a very HAPPY DIWALI!