Updated: Nov 19, 2020
Diwali is one of my favorite times of the year (yes, Christmas and Diwali come really close to each other). Diwali is the festival of lights, where everyone wears new outfits, homes are lighted up, there are Indian sweets called mithai being made in the kitchen! Not to mention your mother telling you five million times that we should start the Diwali cleaning, the house must be spotless! But Diwali, like any auspicious festival, has a story behind it, and today I will share with you why Hindus celebrate Diwali.
Diwali is a day of celebration, it commemorates the triumphant return of King Rama, and his wife Queen Sita,along with Lakshman, and Hanuman to the kingdom of Ayodhya after having been sent in exile for fourteen years, and Rama's army of good defeated demon Ravana's army of evil. Diwali is celebrated all across India and around the world, different parts of India, celebrate it in different ways. It starts on Dhanteras, where traditionally people buy gold, or gift each other money, it's considered a very auspicious time to buy a new house, or a car. Some families buy a new broomstick on this day and symbolically sweep away, poverty, misery, financial problems or any sort of negativity.
Diwali is the day of the Lakshmi pooja. Goddess Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, she is prayed to in both your businesses and homes. The prayer rituals vary from family to family and are often passed on from generations. In our household, we do the prayers first at our store. Then later in the evening we do prayers again, but now at our home. Now here is where you really get to feel the full force and beauty of Diwali. My mother made a lot of mithai for prasad (a sacred offering to the Gods), we are dressed in traditional Indian attire, often new for this auspicious occasion, the house is sparkling, and pretty diyas (oil lamps made from clay) are spread out all over. After all of the prayers are done, the home is lighted up with diyas, and relatives often come over for dinner, and there is a feast. On Diwali our family believes in having a dish containing seven vegetables, this day is also vegan it is common on auspicious days in the Hindu culture to be vegan. Some families even play cards on Diwali night. It's truly a joyous time when families come together.
This year, Diwali was on a much smaller scale in homes around the world, but nevertheless still a celebration, and in many ways more special and more personal. Its is in these days, in the darkness of 2020, that I feel we all have been looking forward to Diwali and personally I am beyond blessed to spend it with my parents. This year has been a reminder to all of us, to value those near and dear to us, to be grateful for what we have, as it can all be taken away in a instant, and if something doesn't go our way it's perfectly fine, perhaps it just wasn't meant to be and something better awaits. Every family celebrates this occasion differently and today I took you into my home.
I usually add a personal note right before concluding my post, but this entire post was personal. So many of you have turned from clients, into friends and family, and I just wanted to share this piece of me with all of you today! I hope you had a blessed, and joyous Diwali, may the light of the diyas brighten the new year.