Diwali is celebrated all across India with great excitement uniting the whole country. In North India, it is celebrated as the homecoming of Lord Rama with Sita and Laxmana after a long exile of 14 years. In East India, it is mainly the night of ancestors and earthen oil lamps. For the natives of West India, Rangoli marks as an important part of their Diwali decoration whilst in South India, Andhrites and Tamilians worship Lord Krishna and his wife Satyambha’s victory.
Diwali in India will be celebrated on Sunday, 27th October 2019.
Dhanteras (Day of fortune)
Naraka Chaturdasi (Day of knowledge)
Diwali (Day of light)
Annakut (New Year)
Bhai Duj (Day of love between siblings)
Diwali is celebrated to welcome Lord Ram, Sita, and Laxman who returned back to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. Diwali signifies the spiritual victory of light over darkness, of good over the evil and of knowledge over ignorance.
Some of the most happening places to celebrate Diwali in India are Amritsar, Varanasi, Udaipur, Kolkata, Jaipur, Goa, and Delhi.
It goes without saying that the festival of lights, Diwali, is arguably India’s biggest religious celebration when homes, institutions and entire neighborhoods are decorated with candles, earthen lamps and fairy lights on this auspicious moonless night.
However, as per the different traditions in India, different regions of India commemorate this day in diverse ways. Each part of India celebrates Diwali in their own unique ways. And, here is a list of places where you can travel to explore the diverse ways in which the festival is celebrated across the country!
Lord Rama’s home, Ayodhya now lies in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where the Festival of Lights is one of the most widely and enthusiastically celebrated festivals. In Varanasi, Diwali is an intricate affair, with the special evening Ganga Aarti, which lights up the entire Ganga with the thousands of earthen lamps that float over the surface. A true experience indeed, as the evening is brought on by chants from priests, people welcome Diwali by lighting firecrackers and lighting up their homes!
Places to Visit: Varanasi, Haridwar
For the major part of 14-year exile, it is believed that Lord Rama stayed in Panchvati which is now close to Nasik, in the state of Maharashtra. Keeping the mythological connection aside, Maharashtra celebrates Diwali with great enthusiasm. On Diwali day, Lakshmi-pujan is celebrated on the Diwali evening, where it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi visits the households, bringing with her lots of wealth and prosperity. Mouth-watering delicacies like Chakali, Shankar-pare, Anarse, Kadaboli, Karanji, Shev, and more are served during Diwali, and Marathis hang ‘Akash-dive’ outside, to light up their homes.
Places to Visit: Mumbai, Pune, Nasik
Whilst most of the country associates Diwali festivities with the bursting of crackers at sundown, in Tamil Nadu, this happens by day. People take a traditional oil bath at the crack of dawn. Also, for a pre-bath massage, fragrant pepper, betel leaves are infused with hot oil. After bathing, new clothes are worn and a tonic called ‘Deepavali Lehiyam’ is applied as a precursor to the feast ahead. Then, bursting of crackers and sparkles ensues. Unlike other parts of the country wherein celebrations begin by evening, in Tamil Nadu, celebrations actually wind up by evening. For the majority of Tamilians, this festival marks the day as the death of Narakasura, a feared demon, at the hands of Lord Krishna.
Places to Visit: Chennai, Rameshwaram
In Kolkata and the rest of the state of West Bengal, this day is referred to as ‘Kali Puja’. An avatar of goddess Durga, Kali is much respected and looked upon amongst Bengalis for her formidable presence. Be it, Devotees and tantric practitioners, they worship her alike. Homes are adorned with traditional rangoli made with powdered rice and diyas. In order to welcome the goddess, firecrackers are burst.
Places to Visit: Kolkata
Whilst for many states in India, this day marks as the death of Narakasura, in Andhra Pradesh, however, the festivities inculcate theatre and drama which are similar in nature to that of Dussehra. The slaying of the demon is re-enacted by protagonists and effigies depicting Narakasura are stuffed with crackers and burnt during these skits. Legend has it that the fiend’s dying wish was to live for one more day in the grandest way possible. Thus fireworks, feasts, and festivities are meant to fulfill this desire. There is a lot of emphasis on buying items and gifting.
We hope you have a happy, safe Diwali!
Also, read our blog on WHY DO HUNDREDS OF SOUTH KOREANS VISIT AYODHYA EVERY YEAR? KNOW ABOUT THE MYSTERIOUS CONNECTION INSIDE! here