When cooler evenings replace the Indian summer and monsoon season, thoughts shift to the festival season, with Diwali being the most anticipated event. It’s one of the most significant events in the calendar for a lot of Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains, and everyone is welcome to participate in the festivities.
Diwali, also called Deepavali in south India, is a time for religious ceremonies and telling customary stories. It is also known as the festival of lights. Along with enjoying parties, eating, and gift-giving, it’s also a chance to shop for new clothes, tidy the house, and exchange gifts.
Every Indian region celebrates Diwali according to its own traditions, but regardless of these rituals, the holiday is universally understood to symbolize the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and wisdom over ignorance.
This is associated for Hindus with the old story of Lord Rama, who was exiled for 14 years after losing his kingdom. Diwali commemorates Rama’s valiant return home after defeating the evil spirit Ravana. The festival commemorates the homecoming of Guru Hargobind Singh to Amritsar and his release from prison. It is a time to honor Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, who attained enlightenment and is celebrated by Jains.
The corporate world views Diwali as a lucky time to launch new projects. Married couples and infants enjoying their first Diwali find extra meaning in it as well, since it allows the families to get together.
It’s a five-day celebration in India with several ceremonies held every day, with the major event taking place on the third day.
Most people pray to Ganesh, the god of wisdom and good fortune for the upcoming year, and Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, during Diwali night.
Sweetmeat sacrifices are made to the gods as the religious ceremony draws to a close, and diyas—small clay lamps—are erected both inside and outside of dwellings. To draw Lakshmi’s attention and direct her toward these glittering lamps is the goal.
However the exact date varies every year.
In the weeks preceding Diwali, people customarily redecorate their homes, purchase new clothing and jewelry, and trade gifts of candies, nuts, and dried fruits. Dinner parties, outdoor food festivals, and craft fairs are popular throughout this season, and they all contribute to the excitement leading up to the main Diwali celebration.
These events frequently feature platters of kebabs, fried savoury appetizers, tandoori grills, and spiced sweetmeats. Expect drinks and lots of finger food.
Purchasing a metallic kitchen tool, such a steel ladle, or, if funds permit, a stainless steel spoon, two days prior to the primary festival day is thought to bring good fortune.
On Diwali, there is no scheduled evening meal and no one fasts. Meals aren’t even vegetarian in some houses.
Samosas, bhajis, aloo tikki (potato patties grilled on a grill), and channa bhatura (puffed bread with spiced chickpeas) are examples of savory snacks. Gujarat, a state in western India, is well-known for its crunchy “farssan” snacks.
But make room for the main course, which may consist of a feast of vegetarian Indian dishes like dhals and lentils or meaty curries like our next-level tikka masala.
But the real stars of Diwali are sweetmeats, or “mithai.” They are served to the gods as well as visitors and are created using dairy products, which have sacred significance.
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