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There is no better way to understand a culture by participating in a festival of the place. During celebrations, there is a completely new persona of a place that is unleashed to its viewers. And this is nothing similar to the mundane facade of a city on the other days. Diwali 2020 is one such festival.
Why is Diwali celebrated?
Indians celebrate Diwali festival to mark the safe return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya, back to his home. Although there are many folk and mythological tales behind the festival. Holistically seen, it is celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil.
Genuinely people clean and decorate their houses, and wear new clothes on this day. They spent the day making delicious food and distributing sweets and Diwali wishes to their neighbours, relatives and friends. The Diwali night is ended by painting the dark sky with fire crackers and placing diyas, candles, and lights around their homes to light up the new moon night.
India is a country that has an endless list of festivals. Diwali festival or Deepawali is the country’s most significant Hindu festival, which is celebrated over all parts of the country in many diverse ways. People from everywhere celebrate the victory of good over evil in their own traditional ways. From bursting crackers, eating and distributing sweets, making colourful rangolis and many more. This is one of the few festivals which unites the complete nation as it is celebrated everywhere. So here are various different ways how this festival of light: Diwali festival is celebrated all across the country.
Shopping your heart out in Delhi
Delhi, the capital of India has its own way of celebrating the festival. During this time, people of all caste, class, religion, age are seen shopping for Diwali everywhere. During this time, the roads and traffic of the city are at its peak. But the best part about this is the charm of the overpopulated streets with beautifully decorated shops and homes and people seeing buying candles, lights, diyas, sweets and decor items. Not to mention, Diwali 2020 has already taken over the complete state.
On this day people spend the eve with having a pooja, making delicious food and lighting candles & diyas, and putting up decorative lights around their houses. They even decorate their homes in a hope that the deities that are preached (Lakshmi & Ganesh), will come in the midnight and bless them with wisdom and prosperity. Later on, distributing sweets and gifts among neighbours and friends.
Delhi for sure has a completely new revamped look during this time of the year. Diwali festival has many versions of celebrations. Read further to know more.
The Traditional ‘Himachali’ Diwali
Diwali in the states of Himachal is all about peace and calm vibes. This is far from what we can see in Delhi. Completely opposite to the active nature in the capital, Diwali festival in Himachal sees locals painting their homes. The traditional mud houses’ walls are painted with clay and cow-dung and are cleaned. People there believe that Goddess Lakshmi comes to visit on the night of the festival and stays in the cleanest house. People light up earthen diyas filled with oil, painting the black canvas, in the night as it is a new moon night.
On this day goats are also sacrificed in some parts of Himachal Pradesh. Local women paint on vessels made out of clay and decorate them with red painted drawings. They pray with these vessels and later distribute them among their friends. Delhi in Himachal is all about staying low-key and spending a quiet day doing daily chores. The only difference is doing it with a pinch of traditional rituals and festivities.
One thing that can be said about Himachali Diwali festival is that here the festival is celebrated in the most non-pollutant way. Also, this year, Diwali 2020 has seen many reductions in the usage of crackers among its citizens. Not only limited to this, but Diwali festival also has its many versions, like the colourful Diwali of Rajasthan.
Celebrating a Vibrant Diwali in Rajasthan
Rajasthan is the land of fairs and festivals. Rajasthanis celebrate their Diwali for five days. These five days are Dhanteras, Choti Diwali, Badi Diwali, Padwa and Bhaiduj. Markets here are filled with fragrances of flowers and sweets. Not only this many cultural, programmes take place in every city of Rajasthan. These cultural programmes include parade marching through the streets, people dancing and singing all around.
If you happen to visit Rajasthan, during the festival of Diwali you will see different versions of Rangolis here. Rangoli is a traditional painting made with powdered colours that women in the house make at their doorsteps to attract prosperity. And also not to forget to decorate their homes as well.
Rajasthan offers a very diversely vibrant facade to its guests which cannot be explained in words. All that is visible are people celebrating in new and traditional clothes, enjoying the festivities, which is a treat to the eyes.
Naraka Chaturdashi: The Diwali of Goa
Unlike in Rajasthan, in Goa Diwali is a one-day festival. Goa has its own belief of Diwali, unlike the other parts of the country. In Goa, the festival of Diwali is celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi. They believe that the demon Narakasura, who terrorised the villagers was killed on this day by Lord Vishnu. They have their own unique way to celebrate the festival. Hang on, as we share the insights with you as well. You will be surprised as we were too!
In Goa, the locals have this folk tale in which the demon Narakasura used to kidnapped young girls and terrorised the villages. And their prayer got answered by Lord Krishna. Hence people in Goa celebrate this festival by making tall sculptures of the demon which are filled with grass, wastepaper and crackers. These sculptures are then burnt with great pomp, marking the victory of good over evil.
Not only this, the women of the house here, prepare a mixture of sandalwood and fragrant scented oils. These are called ‘utnem’. This oil is believed to clean and purify one from their sins. Hence this oil is applied to the body and is also used in massage. Interesting right?
India is a nation full of undiscovered stories and festivities. And Diwali is the perfect occasion to discover such unknown wonders. So whenever you are travelling to the country, feel free to check us out in our various locations. We would love to show you all around. Also, you can celebrate your Diwali 2020 with us. We always welcome travellers from all over the world and give them an experience of a lifetime. And if you want to explore a city at its best, visit it during the Diwali festival.
Shubh Deepawali guys!!