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  • Mridanjli Rawal

A Pedacito Of Diwali In India

Updated: Jun 19, 2022

Diwali or Deepawali is derived from the Sanskrit term "Deepavali," which literally means "row of lights." Many Indians light diyas outside their homes to represent the inner light that shields them from spiritual darkness.

Diwali literally is translated to "row of lights"
Diwali literally is translated to "row of lights"

My grandma used to tell me so many stories about this festival of lights throughout my childhood.

After defeating the demon King Ravana, Lord Rama, his brother Laxmana, and his wife Sita returned to Ayodhya after a 14-year exile, according to the Hindu epic Ramayana.

According to another popular legend, Goddess Lakshmi was born from Samudra Amntham, the churning of the cosmic ocean of milk by gods and demons. Lakshmi chose Diwali night to marry God Vishnu.

On Diwali, we worship the Goddess Lakshmi along with the elephant-headed God Ganesha.

Ganesha is the Elephant-God celebrated during Diwali
Ganesha is the Elephant-God celebrated during Diwali

In India, over the years, we have had TV shows dedicated to religious stories. Every household has an elderly member, so the kids grow up watching religious shows. That's how I grew up, too. In India, such shows are extremely popular and have excellent TRPs (television rating points).

My best memories from the Diwali celebration are with my grandmother. What a lovely woman she was! Playing devotional songs on the television and preparing for Diwali. If she was alive today, she would have loved Alexa!

In India, we celebrate Diwali over a period of five days.

On the 3rd day of Diwali, we say a prayer to the Goddess Lakshmi
On the 3rd day of Diwali, we say a prayer to the Goddess Lakshmi

On Day 1, or "Dhanteras," is dedicated to the cleaning of the whole house and buying gold and kitchen utensils. There is a saying that it helps bring good fortune.

On Day 2, we decorate our homes with clay lamps and create designs called rangoli on the floor using colored powders or sand.

On Day 3, my whole family gathers for Lakshmi puja, a prayer to the Goddess Lakshmi, followed by mouth-watering feasts. We feel responsible for the environment, so it's been 15 years since we last burst crackers.

On Day 4 is the first day of the new year according to the Hindu calendar. We visit our friends and relatives with gifts and best wishes for the season.

On Day 5, we celebrate "Bhaidooj." This festival is about siblings' bonding, just like Rakshabandhan. This day is super fun as our brothers give gifts and mostly a lot of cash. Who doesn't love cash?

Me enjoying the festivities of Diwali
Me enjoying the festivities of Diwali

Every Diwali brings together our families and friends and strengthens the bond. It brings happiness, joy, and lots of love and food!

After every Diwali, we end up gaining a few pounds! But who cares? After all, Diwali is the festival of happiness, love, laughter, and light!


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