Celebrating The Festival Of Lights

Diwali or Deepavali means a row of lights. It is one of the most beautiful and festive days of the year which falls on Amavasya of the Kartik month. Lighting earthen lamps, worshipping Goddess Lakshmi, mouth watering sweets and fireworks displays this festival. Also, it marks the victory of good over evil. 

Diwali diyas

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Celebration In North India


Uttar Pradesh: In Uttar Pradesh Diwali is all about wearing vibrant colors and enjoying the festival with great enthusiasm. In Varanasi, also known as the land of festivals, religious ceremonies take place on a grand scale. Earthen lamps are lit on the ghats of the city and are then left gently in the river. In other areas of the state, Lakshmi Puja is done religiously and diyas are lighted in every corner of the home. Special sweets and dishes are made in the home and gifts and sweets are exchanged among friends and relatives. Crackers are burnt which fill the sky with colorful light.

Himachal Pradesh: Himachal Pradesh has its unique ways of celebrating Diwali. People clean the mud walls of the house and paint it using white clay and cow-dung. In the courtyard, a black or red is painted using colored clay and is decorated with images of birds and animals. Walls are decorated with garlands of flowers. According to their customs, people here paint little vessels known as Auloo, with clay and decorate it with red paint. These vessels are then prayed and exchanged among the best friends with a belief of strengthening their friendship. Designs are made using rice powder, which is worshipped at night by the young girls using camphor and grass. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped specially.

Punjab: In Punjab, this day has its importance for two reasons: Diwali celebration and release of Guru Hargobind Ji from prison in 1619 AD. In Amritsar, Golden Temple is decorated with lights and traditional lamps. Earthen lamps are lit around the holy tank. The beauty of the temple increases with its reflection in the shimmering water of the holy pool which is truly mesmerizing. People of the village worship and adorn their cattle on this day thanking them for providing income. Fireworks are also enjoyed by the people.

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Celebration In East India


West Bengal: In West Bengal, Diwali is the time for great feasting, celebration and rejoicing. Bengalis decorate and light up their houses with hundreds of diyas at a time. Their Diwali Rangolis are unique, beautiful and very colorful. Entrance of the house is decorated with two or four plantain leaves along with a row of diyas. In the evening Lakshmi Puja in performed by all the members of the family. Diwali is celebrated for three days, but on the final day, the day of worshipping Goddess Kali, the lights and liveliness is reduced. The first two days are celebrated with more enthusiasm with lights, feasting, family gatherings and fire crackers. Nothing new is purchased on the day of Diwali.

Celebration In West India


Maharashtra: Diwali celebrations in Maharashtra commence with 'Vasu-baras'. It is done in the honor of the holy cow which is adored by the Hindu people. Married women worship the cow who is expecting a calf. On the day of Diwali, Lakshmi Puja is performed in the evening to seek her blessings for a prosperous New Year. Mouth-watering delicacies such as Shankar-pale, karanji, chakali, shev, anarse, chirote, chivda, etc are prepared. People hang 'Akash-kandil' and light 'panti's outside their houses and rangolis are made at the entrance of the house. Male members of the family are also worshipped with Aarti done by the women.

Gujarat: In Gujarat, Diwali is known as Badhavsar. Entrance of the house is decorated with powdered rice. Purchasing salt on this day is believed to be very lucky by the people of Gujarat. People love to wear traditional dresses on Diwali with men wearing Dhoti and Kurta and women wearing saris. Visiting temple on this day is considered auspicious.

Celebration In South India


Tamil Nadu: The day of Diwali begins with taking an oil bath by the family members before sunrise and is considered equivalent to taking bath in Ganga. Gingelly oil is applied on the heads of the family members by the elders before the bath. New clothes are worn and sweets are eaten. Traditional sweets and dishes are made in the houses. Kuthu vilakus (oil lamp) are lit in the place of worship. Mats are placed facing the east direction. After making offering to the Gods, fruit is given to the family members along with betel leaves and betel nuts.

Karnataka: Diwali in Karnataka is celebrated with lighting innumerable diyas and bursting crackers. Lakshmi Puja is performed by the family members to please the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. The time for utmost celebration is early morning and late night. Hence people of Karnataka rise early and sleep late on the day of Diwali. 

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With this word tour of Diwali celebrations, AstroSage wishes a Happy Diwali to one and all!

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