The much-awaited festival of light is here. Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is celebrated across India with great enthusiasm as it symbolises the victory of good over evil. Derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Dipavali’, which means a row of lights, Diwali has been celebrated since time immemorial. Diwali is celebrated 20 days after Lord Ram killed Ravan (Dusshera) and rescued Sita from captivity in Lanka. The celebration marks the return of Lord Ram to Ayodha after 14 years of exile. To welcome Lord Rama, Sita and Laxman, the entire city was decked up and the people decorated the city with diyas (earthen lamps) to welcome their king. This five-day festival starts with Dhanteras, which celebrates and welcomes good luck, wealth and prosperity. On Dhanteras people buy jewellery and utensils because any kind of metal is believed to ward off bad luck and usher in wealth and prosperity. Dhanteras is followed by Chhoti Diwali, Diwali, Govardhan Puja and finally, Bhai Dooj marks the end of this festival.
How to celebrate the festival of lights
‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ and none can explain this better than people who celebrate Diwali. The preparation for this grand festival starts much ahead with people cleaning their houses and offices. Then they decorate their places with flowers, lamps, lights and rangolis. Like all other festivals in India, food too plays an essential role in Diwali. From delicious sweets or delectable savouries, every household prepares a fare worth feeding a kingdom. A lot of people also gift sweets to their friends and families to wish them luck and prosperity for the coming days. The celebration starts with people buying jewellery and utensils on Dhanteras. This is an auspicious occasion to buy any kind of metal as it is believed to ward off evil and bring in prosperity.
Although it is a tradition to burst crackers on Diwali, we should now refrain from doing it because of the increase in air pollution. We should aim to celebrate Diwali in an eco-friendly way and respect nature. Instead of bursting crackers, we can light diyas, decorate our house and surroundings with fairy lights and spend a magical evening with friends and family.