The festival of Diwali is celebrated in India for ages. At this time of the year, the entire country is beautifully lit up and celebrates the festival with great enthusiasm, cheerfulness and embellishment.
Even though the entire country celebrates this auspicious festival together; but every direction has its own unique way of performing rituals and celebrating. People from different states have different rituals and prayers. Let’s see how people in different regions in India celebrates this ocassion.
Diwali is celebrated in honor of Lord Rama homecoming to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. Ayodhya is situated in the Northern state of Uttar Pradesh, hence, Diwali in the North is celebrated with sparkles and fireworks. For Diwali, people pray to idols of Goddess Lakshmi who symbolizes prosperity and wealth, and Lord Ganesha who symbolizes wisdom and auspiciousness. Residents of Himachal, Delhi and Punjab play cards during the Diwali season; in all parts of North India people buy kitchen utensils on Dhanteras as it is considered auspicious. In the Northern states Diwali is the most important festival, where people burn fireworks, have lavish food and party.
In the Southern states, people start celebration on the day of Naraka chaturdashi. It is the day Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama killed the demon Narakasura. A unique ritual in Tamil Nadu called the Thalai Deepavali is followed. In this the newly married couple for their first Diwali go and stay at the bride’s parents’ home. In South, people celebrate Diwali on a lower key as compared to North. People here prefer to just enjoy by making rangolis, eating traditional food and burning a few fireworks.
In the Eastern region, Diwali is celebrated with a lot fanfare. In West Bengal, Lakshmi Puja is performed before Diwali. On the full moon night of Diwali, Goddess Kali, The destructor of evil is prayed too. In Orissa, people light lamps, lanterns and candles. Homes here are fully lit up and look stunning. In Orissa, one particular ritual includes holding of burning jute stems to light up the way for the spirits of the ancestors to go back to heaven.
In the Western region of the country, Diwali is a four day affair, but people start preparing 15 days in advance. In Gujarat, Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of success is worshipped. Diwali also marks as the new financial year for businessmen in Gujarat. Gujarati also consider it as their New Year. The Jain’s celebrate Diwali with great excitement to celebrate the achievement of Nirvana by Lord Mahavir. People in the West go shopping, eat traditional food, make rangolis and burn fireworks.
No matter which direction, everyone in the country unites together to celebrate this auspicious and joyful festival. At the end of the day the good always wins over evil, and that’s what Diwali is all about.