The Vibrant Atmosphere
Fragrant candles burning brightly in every room, colourful rangoli (Indian art form) displayed in the front room, jubilant voices echoing across the lively house, interspersed with laughter throughout. Warmth radiates throughout the home and the joy of the family gathered together is infectious. Everyone is completely present.
Why is Diwali Celebrated?
Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists, and whilst the event has slightly different meanings in each religion, it represents the same victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. It is the biggest festival in India, with it being a 4 day national holiday and diaspora’s around the world mark the date with delicious food and ear-drum shattering, brightly coloured fireworks. In Hindu mythology, Ram and Sita are welcomed home, after 14 years in exile and after defeating the demon king Ravan.
How is it Celebrated?
It is celebrated with much pomp and fervour, with many families spring cleaning their entire house prior to Diwali, and draping lights inside or outside their homes. Cooking delicious dishes which include indulgent Indian sweets, moreish savoury snacks as well as a tasty feast that can be eaten with all of the relatives is a requirement of the holiday. Lighting fireworks late into the night (or as late as you can without annoying your neighbours) is part of the fun as we run back after lighting the wick so we can gaze up in wonder at all the vibrant display.
Why is it a Special Time?
For me personally, it is a time that I can spend with the close relatives that I have grown up with. I spend time with my immediate family in the days preceding and the day after, where we all go to the temple together, spring clean, eat and cook together (I do more eating!) and lots of vibrant fireworks. We ring in the Indian New Year, and despite following the Gregorian calendar, it feels like a time of renewal and new beginnings. So what better way to start than good quality time with my family?