Diwali Festical

A celebration of triumph of light over dark and good over evil, Diwali is one of the major festivals of India. The festival is blissfully intertwined by ancient mythology and spirituality. While India is a fascinating destination to visit at any time of the year, there's perhaps no time more perfect than the festival of Diwali. This is the time when the entire country is illuminated with fireworks, oil lamps and a riot of colour. In addition to decorating their homes with oil lamps, people also clean their houses and share sweets and gifts. Diwali is a festival of happiness, fun and spirituality, emphasizing true beauty of India.
An extended version of Diwali is celebrated in Varanasi, known as Dev Deepawali.  Celebrated after 15 days of Diwali, Dev Deepawali marks the grand gathering of devotees who come together to take a dip in the holy Ganges. As the sun goes down, every single step of the staircases at Varanasi ghats glitters with thousands of diyas. All the temples in the city are also beautifully lit by the lamps.

Diwali Celebrations
The festival of lights is celebrated on large scale in almost all the regions of India. The preparations for the festival start well in advance. Houses are white washed and painted accordingly. Every household is decorated with marigold strings, mango leaves and beautiful rangolis. People perform Lakshmi Puja, as it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi come down to Earth on this day. Some people do Ganesh Puja on this day and offer modak or laddoos to the elephant god Ganesha.

Diwali in North India
Various states of Northern India celebrate Diwali with much enthusiasm. This day marks the homecoming of Lord Rama (mythological character from the epic Ramayana). The festival is celebrated with fireworks, lights, and sweets distribution. The households in North India worship Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi. One must not miss the Diwali mela held in different parts of Delhi. The mela lets you buy decor and food items for the festivals. Shopping, cleaning, gambling, redecoration, whitewashing, home decoration, exchanging of gifts and sweets are part and parcel of the celebrations.

Diwali in East India
The basic rituals of celebration are same in Eastern India, which includes lighting of lamps, candles, diyas, along with bursting of crackers. In West Bengal and Assam, Lakshmi Puja is celebrated six days after the Durga Puja, and Diwali is celebrated as Kali Puja. People of Bihar and Jharkhand perform Lakshmi pooja in the evening. There are Kali Puja pandals in various areas. In Odisha, Diwali is celebrated by paying tribute to the forefathers.

Diwali in West India
In Gujarat and Maharashtra, rangoli is an important part of Diwali decoration. In Gujarat, people draw footprints of Goddess Lakshmi at the entrance of the house, light candles, rice lights and diyas on the night of the festival. In some houses in Gujarat, a diya lit with ghee is left burning the whole night. The next morning, the flame collected from this diya is used to make kajal, which is applied by women on their eyes.
In Maharashtra, Diwali is celebrated for 4 days. The Maharashtrians perform Lakshmi Puja and organised a feast known as “Faral” for families and friends, where sweets like karanji, ladoo and snacks like chakli and sev are served. In every house, Goddess Lakshmi and items of wealth like money and jewellery are worshipped.

Diwali in South India
In Southern India, Naraka Chaturdashi is the main day of Diwali Celebrations.  On the morning of Diwali or Naraka Chaturdashi, the celebrations begin with an oil bathe before sunrise. Another unique ritual in South India observed on Diwali is Thalai Deepavali. On this day, newlyweds spend their first Diwali in the bride’s parental home. In Andhra Pradesh, Harikartha or the musical narration of the story of Lord Hari is performed in many areas. It is believed that Lord Krishna’s consort Satyabhama killed demon Narakasura. Therefore, prays are offered to special clay idols of Satyabhama.

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