The Festival of Diwali symbolizes not only a change of season but also a change of mood-from mundane to festive. Diwali or Deepavali means lights arranged in a row and those lights are meant to ward off the darkness in a person’s life and bring happiness and joy in his world.
The festival of Diwali portrays rich cultural heritage and traditional values of India. Traditionally, Diwali is celebrated to manifest the defeat of the evil by the good. In the five day long festival, each day has a separate significance of its own. On the “Dhanteras” is meant for purchasing new clothes and most importantly new ornaments, preferably Gold or Silver. You can also purchase any metal in form of utensils or crockery for your home. This is considered to be auspicious for homemakers.
The Chhoti Diwali day is kept for preparing for the big occasion of Laxmi Pooja on next day, where it is customary to clean the home because Goddess Laxmi, the symbol of wealth and prosperity, never enters untidy households. The next day, traditional Laxmi Ganesh Poojan is performed to seek the blessings of the deities. People also worship Lord Ganesha as he is the remover of obstacles. Some merchants in North India consider Diwali to be the beginning of the New Year.
It is a tradition to light lamps during Diwali because of two reasons. Firstly, it shows the way to your home to the Goddess Laxmi who is believed to walk around during the night. Secondly, it also enlightens your inner soul by establishing positive thinking and removes the darkness of you mind by eliminating the negative forces. Almost all the households are decorated with beautiful torans, wall hangings, and flowers apart from the beautiful floor painting tradition of “rangoli” which is considered to be vary auspicious during Diwali. This gives a colorful touch to the Festival.
People follow the tradition of burning crackers as the bursting sound scares the evil and drives them away from your home. In North India, people involve themselves into playing gambles which is again a century-old tradition, on during Diwali. It is believed that whoever does this is blessed with abundance of wealth for the entire year. It is a tradition to exchange gifts when Diwali comes, because that is one way to reflect your love towards your dear ones. Children are mainly involved in all these because they will be the ones who will carry these traditions forward in future.
You might be interested in some rural customs of the country typically followed during Diwali. Farmers worship the cattle as the main source of income and hence in Maharashtra, jiggery mixed dry coriander seeds are offered to them. In south, cows are regarded as the earthly form of Goddess Laxmi hence they are specially worshipped.
It is hard to believe, that even in this technologically advanced world, thousands of people eagerly wait for this traditional festival and follow all the customs and traditions associated with it. This can happen only in India.