Diwali is a major Indian festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and light over darkness. From the mythical legends associated with it to the varied customs and rituals, Diwali is an enchanting experience. The festival of lights, Diwali can never be imagined without the glowing lamps and diyas, and the colorful and noisy fireworks that brighten up the moonless night of Diwali. This joyous and grandest Hindu festival has many traditions connected with its celebrations as one travels through different parts of the diverse India. In the following lines, we have highlighted the various traditions of Diwali that have been followed through ages.
Traditions Of Deepavali Festival
The primary and the most common aspect of Diwali celebrations is the lighting of the diyas. A small light usually made of clay, a diya is lit using ghee or oil as fuel and cotton as the wick. The diyas are burnt all through the night spreading light even to the darkest corners. Legends have it that when Goddess Lakshmi arrives on earth, she visits only illuminated homes. The illumined diyas all around bring the divine light and joy amidst us to disperse darkness, ignorance and hatred. The tradition of lighting diyas is believed to have started from the time when Lord Rama returned from exile and the entire Ayodhya was lit up with diyas to welcome the Lord. The rows of lighted diyas, which means ‘Deepawali’, gave Diwali its name and hence, is also precisely known as the ‘festival of lights’.
Rangoli is a Sanskrit word which means a creative expression of art through the use of color. Rangoli is a traditional art form of decorating courtyards, entrances, walls and places of worship in Indian homes. Rangolis have been part of the Indian culture for a long time. During Diwali, the houses are cleaned thoroughly while the entrance is decorated with rangoli to the welcome the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi.
Diwali can never be complete without fireworks and crackers. The splendor and shine of the fireworks is loved by one and all. The traditional fireworks at the time of Diwali light up the moonless sky. This illumination of diyas and fireworks is seen as a mark of honor to the heaven Gods to bestow the people with prosperity, wealth, knowledge and a good life ahead.
The exchange of gifts and sweets during Diwali is an age old tradition. With the economy getting better, the exchange of rice, grains and cattle has been replaced by gold, silver and other valuables. The exchange of gifts and sweets acts as a catalyst to reviving personal relationships and social ties.
Gambling during Diwali is believed to bring immense wealth, prosperity and good luck in the forthcoming New Year. Legends have it that, Goddess Parvati played dice with her husband Lord Shiva and she proclaimed that whoever gambled on the night of Diwali would prosper throughout the following year.
Shopping during Diwali is inevitable, and the auspicious occasion of Dhanteras only adds more fervor to it. People purchase gold and silver ornaments and utensils. The sale of gold and silver is at its peak during Diwali. People also indulge in purchasing home appliances, gadgets and clothes as markets are flooded with numerous discount schemes and exchange offers. But most important of all, it is very auspicious to buy any new item on this day.