Deepavali, also called Diwali in some parts of India, is a popular multi-day Hindu festival celebrated with lights and fireworks. It is one of the most important Hindu holidays of the year and is a celebration of the classic triumph of good over evil. Lord Rama saves his wife Sita by defeating Ravana, a demon king, and returns to his kingdom Ayodhya. Deepavali usually occurs either in October or November. This year it begins November 14.
During Deepavali, everyone in the family gets together to celebrate. The festival takes place over five days, starting with the day of fortune with prayers/puja to Goddess Laxmi.
A time for renewal
A few days leading up to the festival day, elderly women in the family help the womenfolk in the household with traditional snack recipes and sweets like laddoo, badursha, muruku, and mixture. They make these in large quantities to share with neighbors and friends visiting on the day. The entire house is thoroughly cleaned before the festival arrives.
Another annual tradition is the purchase of new clothes. The whole household wears new clothes and sits together for Laxmi puja (prayers in honor of the goddess of wealth). After puja is done, everyone enjoys the day watching special programs including recently released blockbuster movies on television that are telecast just for the occasion, while munching on delicious homemade snacks and savories.
In India, on the night of Deepavali, fireworks blaze the sky in beautiful colors. As we become more environmentally conscious, to avoid sound and air pollution, fireworks have lessened, giving place to lights on the walls. Rows of diyas (small mud lamps with wicks dipped in ghee/puja oil) decorate the walls of houses making neighborhoods glitter with beautiful light.
Priyadarshini Rajendran lives in Fremont, Calif., and has two children. She is an enthusiastic traveler, bookworm, cook, and blogger. She runs a blog Glorious Sunrise.
LIKE THIS ARTICLE: Sandy Springs Dunwoody Macaroni Kid is a free weekly newsletter and website focused on fun family events and information in Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Chamblee, Doraville, Atlanta, and Perimeter. We gather together all kinds of local family events and activities each week and add useful information about classes, family-focused businesses, book and product reviews, recipes, crafts, school and camp guides and more. We proudly serve families in Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Chamblee, Doraville, Atlanta, and Perimeter! Sandy Springs Dunwoody Macaroni Kid is full of useful local information like this PLUS tons of kid-friendly events on our event calendar. Have an event you'd like submitted to our calendar for consideration? Submit an event here. Like what you see here and want to get all the fun delivered to your inbox weekly? Subscribe to our FREE weekly e-newsletter for 411 on the local family fun. You can find Sandy Springs Dunwoody Macaroni Kid on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.