This year, Diwali, is a 5 day festival celebrated between October 22 - 26th by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs, as well as some Muslims and Buddhists. Diwali is known as the festival of lights and is considered as one of India’s most celebrated holiday. The significance of Diwali is to show how the light can overpower the darkness.
The name Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit word dipavali, meaning “row of lights".
Diwali celebrations usually have fireworks, intricate rangoli patterns (designs made on the floor with bright colored sand) and lighting clay lamps called diyas (inside and outside homes)
Generally, the five days of Diwali include:
Dhanteras: This day involves household cleaning and preparing for upcoming Diwali events .
Choti Diwali: This day honors Krishna’s defeat of the demon god Narakasura. Decorating ones’ home, including hanging lights is customary.
Diwali: On the main day of Diwali. Household cleaning, decorating, such as making rangolis, lighting diyas, gathering with family, exchanging gifts, sharing sweets and praying to Lakshmi are common practices.
Padwa: This day honors Krishna defeated of Indra by lifting the huge Govardhan Mountain. Many people make clay figures to depict the event.
Bhai Dooj: Inspired by the sibling love shared between Lord Yama and his sister Yami. It is siblings to honor one another. often pray for each other's success and well-being and apply a red tilak (a mark typically on the forehead).
Like most celebrations worldwide, food is also a major part of the holiday, especially sweets!
Here are some indulgent delicacies that have been a quintessential part of Diwali:
jalebi (a fried bread soaked in syrup)
barfi (a fudge made with condensed milk and other flavors like pistachio).
gulab jamun (fried balls of dough soaked in syrup)
samosas (fried pastries with a savory filling, typically potato)
biryani (a spiced, mixed rice dish made with or without meat)
gujiya (a pastry filled with Khoya, sugar, almonds, green cardamom and sometimes coconut shreds)
rice kheer (which is a rice pudding made with rice, cardamom, rose water, Kewra essence, saffron and nuts)