Diwali is the grandest of all Hindu festivals and Diwali melas simply add some more grandeur to the essence of the occasion. Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is celebrated over a period of five days and has rich cultural traditions and customs associated with its celebration. On Diwali, people consider it essential to wear new clothes, exchange gifts and sweets as well as meet new and old family members, friends and loved ones. Diwali melas or Diwali fairs are quite popular all over the world. Diwali melas are mostly organized during weekends thereby providing a platform to bring the entire community together under one roof, largely because Diwali is generally observed in individual homes. Summarized below is the significance of Diwali Melas and their preparation.
Deepavali Mela In India & Abroad
Diwali melas are a vital part of Diwali celebrations across the globe. Since the Diwali festivities are mostly confined to individual homes, melas, or fairs, are an opportunity for all Diwali celebrants to come together and enjoy the richness of this festival. These fairs play a crucial role in educating the younger members of the community about the rich cultural heritage of India as well as the legends and rituals of Diwali celebrations. The melas try to keep the traditions and significance of Diwali alive among people; else it won’t be long before the coming generation would never even care to know the significance behind the commemoration of Diwali.
These Diwali fêtes are extremely popular not just in India but all over the world allowing people to celebrate the festival of lights with immense gaiety and enthusiasm in their own communities. For Hindu communities residing outside India, the Diwali Mela is a means to bond with cultural roots and acquaint children to the rich Indian culture and heritage. A variety of cultural programs are organized for the audience to entertain them as well as educate them about history and origin of Diwali celebrations. Back in rural India, Diwali Melas turn into large markets where the farmers buy and sell their produce. Various rides and games are set up which are enjoyed and loved by children, men and women to the fullest.
Women and young girls decorate their hands with henna, or mehndi. It is a time of joyous celebration for the rural people. On the other hand in urban areas, handicraft stalls are set up, the most common of all being mehndi stalls where women flock in large groups to apply mehndi on their hands. Eating joints are set up everywhere offering a wide variety of sweets and chaats. Fun activities and competitions linked with Diwali are organized. While for expatriates, Diwali melas are a showcase of the rich art and crafts and cultural traditions of India, in India, these fairs are a representation of the customs and rituals followed by the true Indians. To add on, Diwali melas that are organized on a larger scale often include performances by celebrities and eminent figures.