What is Diwali?
Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is a joyous and vibrant festival celebrated by millions of people around the world. Its roots go back thousands of years, making it one of the oldest and most significant festivals in Hindu culture. Diwali signifies the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.
The festival's history is rooted in ancient Hindu mythology, marking the return of Lord Rama, an avatar of the god Vishnu, to his kingdom after a 14-year exile following his victory over the demon king Ravana. The people of his kingdom lit oil lamps to illuminate his path, and this tradition symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
Diwali is a 5-day celebration which also marks the end of the harvest season in India and the beginning of winter. On completion of the harvest season, people bow in front of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, to seek blessing for a successful new financial year.
How is Diwali celebrated?
Decorations: People decorate their homes with beautiful rangoli (colorful designs made with colored powders or flower petals), fairy lights and diyas (oil lamps) to ward off darkness and bring in the light of positivity.
Sweets: Yummy sweets like gujiya, ladoos, and jalebis are made and shared with family and friends. It's a time to indulge in delicious treats!
Fireworks: At night, everyone love the colorful and sparkling fireworks that light up the night sky. It's a dazzling display that adds to the festive spirit.
Gifts: Gifting is a significant part of Diwali. People exchange gifts to show their love and appreciation for each other.
Festive Attire and Prayers: On the day of Diwali, everyone wears traditional attire and visits temples to seek blessings from God and express gratitude for the good things in life.
5 fun facts about Diwali
Festival of Lights: Diwali is often called the "Festival of Lights" because it's celebrated with the illumination of countless oil lamps, candles, and decorative lights. The idea is to dispel darkness and symbolize the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.
Fireworks Galore: Diwali is synonymous with fireworks and firecrackers. The sky is lit up with colorful and vibrant displays of fireworks during the celebrations. It's not just a visual spectacle but also a way to express joy and happiness.
Rangoli Art: During Diwali, intricate and colorful rangoli designs are created on the floors of homes and courtyards. These designs are made using colored powders, flower petals, rice, or even sand. They are not only visually appealing but also believed to bring good luck and welcome guests.
Gift-Giving: Exchanging gifts is a significant part of Diwali. Families and friends exchange presents as a symbol of love and goodwill. It's a time to show appreciation and strengthen bonds with loved ones. Popular gifts include clothes, sweets, and decorative items.
Lakshmi Puja: Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, is a central figure during Diwali celebrations. Special prayers and pujas (rituals) are offered to seek her blessings for a prosperous year ahead. Many believe that she visits homes during Diwali, so they keep their houses clean and well-lit to welcome her.
5 Activities to Celebrate Diwali
Decorate Diyas: Encourage kids to paint and decorate clay diyas (small oil lamps) with bright colors, glitter, and stickers. These decorated diyas can be lit in the evening to add a festive touch to your home.
Rangoli Art: Create beautiful rangoli designs using colored chalk or flower petals on your driveway or porch. Kids can let their creativity shine by making colorful patterns and shapes to welcome the spirit of Diwali.
Learn the history: Explore the epic tales of the Ramayana, which highlight the significance of this festival and the legends associated with it. It's a great way for kids to learn about the festival's history and traditions.
Cooking and Baking: Get kids involved in the kitchen by making traditional Indian sweets and snacks like ladoos, jalebis, or samosas. This is not only a fun activity but also a delicious way to enjoy the flavors of Diwali.
Lantern Craft: Create paper lanterns with your kids. You can find templates online, or you can design your own. Let kids paint and decorate these lanterns, and then hang them around the house to add a warm glow to your Diwali celebrations.
Diwali is all about spreading love, happiness, and togetherness. So, light up your lives with the spirit of Diwali, and enjoy this festival of lights with your loved ones!