Hello and Namaste from India
I am Smita Pant and have been a teacher for 21 years. I currently work at Inspiration Public School, Uttarakhand, India.
Besides teaching, I have many other responsibilities such as: the Activity Coordinator for classes 9 -12, International School Coordinator (ISA) under the flag of British Council, and Editor of the Annual School Magazine “Reflection”. I am passionate and enthusiastic to share my culture, celebrations and customs with other people from around the world.
Diwali Celebrations in India
You might have heard how the Diwali festival is celebrated with lots of enthusiasm and zeal in India and many countries around the world.
Diwali is in the month of November this year for which the people will start their preparations a month prior.
Diwali or Deepawali – The festival of lights
The festival usually lasts five days and is celebrated during the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika (between mid-October and mid-November). It is a five-day festival, the heights of which is celebrated on the third day coinciding with the darkest night of the lunar month.
In this festival, each house is illuminated by Diyas (Divas /candles). To celebrate, people light fireworks, wear new clothes, and exchange gifts among their family and friends. Mouth-watering cuisine is prepared, such as “Halwa” and “Poori”, and fresh sweets are shared with family and guests.
All members of the family worship Lord Rama – the deity who returned from 14 years of exile with his wife Goddess Sita and brother Lakshmana. The family offer prayers (Pooja), flowers, sweets (Prasad), and rejoice on Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya city after his exile.
A typical Indian homemade temple (Mandir) where the idols of deities are worshipped. You can see the different offerings such as sweets, fruits and diyas.
Decorating the home for Diwali
The whole house is cleaned and then decorated with floor patterns (Rangoli), Diyas, and Bandhanwars (Door hangings).
A typical Indian Kumaun Floor pattern usually painted on the entrance of the house.
The floor patterns at the entrance of the house are created using colours, flowers or paint. Small girls usually design the Rangoli Patterns in their own way.
Indian Floor Pattern using dry colours, commonly known as Rangoli.
Rangoli design using fresh colourful flowers such as marigolds, rose petals, orchids and lillies.
People also use colourful spices and condiments to make floor patterns such as salt, flour, cloves, turmeric and pulses.
Diyas are decorated and lit during evening time.
Here are some examples of vibrant houses during evening time …
You can observe the door hangings (Bandhanwar), illuminated Diyas, colourful lighting, and decorations at the entrance of the house.
Lighting up the night
People light crackers and fireworks to celebrate the sparkling night.
All in all, it’s one of the biggest festivals celebrated in India.
A huge thank you to Smita Pant for writing this blog for us.
Some other useful blogs linked to Diwali: