Ah, Diwali! That time of the year when the air is filled with the scent of homemade sweets and the night sky is a canvas of colors with fireworks glittering all across! Every street, every nook and corner of the diverse Indian land is decked with fresh flowers and dazzle with glittering lights. Even strangers wish you Happy Diwali as you cross paths in the streets.
For someone who grew up in the vibrant lanes of Delhi, Diwali is much more than a religious festival. It is a perfect hotpot of childhood memories – five days of nonstop fun with cousins and friends, new clothes, exchanging gifts, firework displays, countless card parties, homes decorated with endless strings of fresh marigolds and colorful lights, the scrumptious line-up of fried goodies and homemade sweets and so much more!
So, grab a cup of chai, and let me recount how this Festival of Lights is celebrated within India and beyond its borders. On our way forward, we will also learn how to wish our Indian friends and colleagues Happy Diwali in the Hindi language.
Diwali: More Than Just A Festival
India is a land of diverse cultures and religions. So, it doesn’t seem surprising that the Indian holiday calendar keeps ticking with at least a handful of religious and cultural festivals every month. However, Diwali, or Deepavali, stands tall and stands out as the quintessential symbol of Indian culture across the globe with its glittering array of lights.
Originating from the Sanskrit word Dipavali, which means a row of lamps, the Diwali festival is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains (religions tracing their birth to ancient India) with an enthusiasm that’s contagious. Primarily, it is a Hindu festival marking the triumph of “good over evil”.
This Indian festival of lights is celebrated usually in the month of October-November in the Gregorian calendar. As per the Hindu lunar calendar (similar to the Tamil calendar), it falls on the Full Moon day of Kartik Maas (month of Kartik). It is celebrated as the day Lord Rama – one of the most revered gods in the Hindu pantheon and the hero of the Hindu epic saga Ramayana – returned to his kingdom after 14 years in exile where he triumphed over the evil king Ravana and established Dharma or righteousness in the society.
Happy Diwali: Greetings In Hindi
Here are some Hindi greetings to wish your loved ones happy festivities.
|Wishing you a prosperous Diwali!
|आपको समृद्ध दीपावली की शुभकामनाएं!
|Aapko Samriddh Deepavali ki Shubhkamnayein!
|May this Diwali bring you joy!
|यह दीपावली आपके जीवन में खुशियां लाए!
|Yeh Deepavali aapke jeevan mein khushiyan laye!
|May the lights of Diwali guide you.
|दीपावली के दीपक आपका मार्गदर्शन करें।
|Deepavali ke deepak aapka margdarshan karein.
|Have a safe and happy Diwali!
|सुरक्षित और हर्षित दीपावली मनाएं!
|Surakshit aur Harshit Deepavali manayein!
|May Diwali illuminate your life.
|दीपावली आपके जीवन को रोशन करे।
|Deepavali aapke jeevan ko roshan kare.
|Diwali blessings to you and your family.
|आप और आपके परिवार को दीपावली का आशीर्वाद।
|Aap aur aapke parivaar ko Deepavali ka aashirvaad.
|May this Diwali be bright and cheerful.
|यह दीपावली उज्ज्वल और आनंदमय हो।
|Yeh Deepavali ujjwal aur aanandmay ho.
|Enjoy the festival of lights!
|प्रकाश के त्योहार का आनंद लें!
|Prakash ke tyohaar ka aanand lein!
|Wishing you a Diwali full of sweetness.
|मिठास से भरी दीपावली की शुभकामनाएं।
|Mithas se bhari Deepavali ki shubhkamnayein.
Diwali Celebrations Across India: Diverse Yet United
Alright, let’s take a mini tour of India. While in Northern India, people honor the return of Lord Rama and worship Goddess Lakshmi (the deity of abundance and prosperity), South India has a unique twist with Goddess Kali (the ferocious avatar of sacred feminine) taking center stage.
In the Gujarat state of India, the day is celebrated as the Lunar New Year. The Gujarati people are known and hailed for their business acumen and entrepreneurial sense. Therefore, the Gujarati Hindus celebrate Diwali as the first day of their New Year and start it by worshipping their account books. The greetings of Saal mubaarak can be heard across the state.
However, despite these differences, the underlying theme of good triumphing over evil remains constant when we think of a Happy Diwali.
The Heart Of Diwali: Rituals And Traditions
The five-day celebration is a rollercoaster of excitement. The first day is called Dhanteras (dhan means wealth and teras is the Hindi word for the 13th day of the month) where people worship abundance and purchase gold, silver, kitchenware, or a gadget. The next day is Choti Diwali or Naraka Chaturdashi (chaturdashi means the 14th day of the month) where people wake up before daybreak, take a holy bath, and put on fresh clothing to perform religious rituals. They also clean their houses thoroughly to drive away evil spirits in order to welcome abundance and prosperity.
The third day is the main celebration day. People celebrate by making Rangoli with colored powders, rice flour, and fresh flower petals in front of their houses. Families assemble for Lakshmi Puja – a ritual to worship Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh in order to welcome the goddess of money, success, and prosperity into their house.
They then light up their homes with rows of earthen oil lamps called Diyas. Sweets, dry fruits, and gifts are exchanged with neighbors. Then people in the neighborhood and families gather for fireworks displays. Some families also host card parties to bring in lady luck.
The fourth day of Govardhan Puja signifies reverence for nature. The fifth and last day is dedicated to affectionate bonds between siblings celebrated on Bhai Dooj.
Family, Friends, & Feasts: The Social Fabric Of Diwali
Diwali is when family and friends come together, often dressed in new clothes as if to say, ‘Hey, let’s start afresh!’ For all five days, gifts are exchanged, and oh, the feasts! Imagine tables laden with sweets and savories that make you forget your diet plans.
I remember my grandmother spending days on end preparing for this feast. The entire five-day festival would be spent gorging on homemade savory snacks like namakpaare and namkeen, and stuffing our mouths with delectable sweets like gulab jamuns, jalebis, kaju barfi, and besan laddoos.
Diwali Today: Modern Celebrations & Global Reach
Cut to the 21st century, and Diwali has donned a modern avatar. While the essence remains intact, social media is now awash with ‘Diwali selfies’. Also, it’s heartwarming to see Diwali transcend borders, illuminating hearts globally. Whether it’s London or New York, Diwali’s spirit of joy and togetherness finds a special place. Would you believe even the White House has been celebrating Diwali since the year 2009?
In fact, in countries like Fiji, Guyana, Malaysia (excluding Sarawak), Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago, the main day of the Diwali celebration is an official holiday.
Conclusion: The Eternal Light Of Diwali
As we wrap up our Diwali tale, remember that it is more than just a festival. It is a beacon of hope, unity, and joy. It teaches us that no matter how dark it gets, there’s always a light waiting to be kindled. So, let’s keep that inner light glowing, shall we? Happy Diwali, folks! May your lives be as bright and colorful as this splendid festival.
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