How to make your Diwali special
Diwali is the widely celebrated festival of India.It is also one of the occasions when the multicultural identity of India finds its expressions. While Hindus celebrate it to mark the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya, Sikhs celebrate it as 'Bandi Chhor Diwas' or the celebration of freedom and the Bengalis perform puja for 'Shakti'- Kali Puja
Ever individual celebrate Diwali in his or her own way. However, the basic ethics and values behind these customs are same. There are few ways that can make a Diwali festival on the top of all.
Story Behind Diwali occasion for Hindus
In Hindu mythology, King Dasaratha was the ruler of Ayodhya.He had three wives, Kausalya, Kakeyi, and Sumitra. Kausalya had a son, Rama. Kakeyi had son Bharat and Sumitra has 2 sons Laxman and Shatrughan.
All were living together happily.When all sons finished their studies, they returned home.There was an announcement by Dasaratha to crown Prince Rama as king of Ayodhya. Every individual in Ayodhya was very happy after hearing this news.
All queens were happy after hearing this news. But Manthara, the maid of Kekayi was not at all happy after hearing this news.She wanted Prince Bharat to inherit his father's throne. She told Kekayi to ask her wishes from Dasaratha which she earned way back in a battle.In return for her rights, ask him to make Bharat as King of Ayodhya and send Prince Rama to the forest for 14 years.
After hearing this, Kekayi too becomes jealous of Lord Rama. She went to her room and started crying. Dasaratha went to her and asked her about the reason for her misery.
She reminded him the time at which she saved Dasaratha life on two occasions in a war. Then he promised her to fulfil any two of her wishes sincerely.After hearing this, Dasaratha nodded and said that he remembered all.
Kekayi slowly asked her two wishes:-
- Send Dasaratha beloved Rama to the forest for 14 years
- Make Prince Bharat, king of Ayodhya instead of Rama.
Dasaratha, being a true king followed his words. His son Rama went into exile for 14 years with wife Sita and brother Lakshman. However, he died in the misery of separation from his son. Kekayi also later realized her mistake asked him to return home. But he refused, in order to respect his father words, he didn't return back before 14 years.
As a true loving brother, Bharat tool sandals of Rama and placed it on a throne, taking the pledge to run kingdom in name of Rama till 14 years. Later when would return, he would become the rightful owner of the kingdom.
Diwali, as the day on which Rama returned back to home with Sita and Lakshman, marks the happiness of Ayodhya people.It is still celebrated widely with lots of "diyas" and fireworks.
Homecoming of Lord Rama, Sita and Laxman
Story Behind Diwali occasion for Sikhs
Legend has it that Sikhs celebrate the event to mark the release of their sixth guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, from the fort of Gwalior in October 1619, who was imprisoned by the then Mughal emperor, Jehangir. He had taken Guruji captive as he was afraid of the growing clout of the Sikh movement and, for the same reason, martyred the fifth guru of Sikhs, Guru Arjan Dev.
However, Jehangir paid heed to the good counsel of Saint Sai Mia Mir (who was a friend of Guruji) and decided to release the guru. Some scholars, however, believe that Jehangir realized that Guruji was going to do no harm to his empire, and so decided to release him.
However, imprisoned in the same fort were 52 Hindu rajas of different kingdoms. So Guruji said, he would either walk free with all of them or not at all. On this, Jehangir put the condition that as many rajas would be released who could hold the cloak of Guruji. However, Guru Hargobind Sahib refused to relent. Instead, he ordered for a cloak that had 52 coattails. And so, all the rajas held the coat tails and walked out of prison with Guruji. Hence, the day came to be known as 'Bandi Chhor Diwas'. After the release, Guruji went to Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar where he was welcomed by lighting "diwe" (earthen pots), in a fashion similar to that in which Lord Ram was welcomed in Ayodhya.
The 'Bandi Chhor Diwas' is celebrated in gurdwaras across the world. The occasion is celebrated with gusto in Patna Sahib as well, the birthplace of Guru Hargobind Sahib's grandson, Guru Gobind Singh. Secretary of the Prabandhak Committee of Harmandirji, Patna Sahib, Raja Singh said special prayers are held on Diwali evening. "Devotees in large numbers attend the guru bani kirtan and special path. They offer "bhog" which is later taken back home as prasad. The whole premises of the gurdwara is lighted by "diyas" and the grand "aatishbaji" (fireworks) is followed by kirtan."
People welcome Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji
Story Behind Diwali occasion for Bengalis
Bengalis in the city are not lacking in the celebration of Kali Puja. "It is a puja performed for Shakti and devotion. People who perform Kali Puja are called "shakt". This puja is tough in nature as the devotee has to keep fasting without water till the puja is over," said Pramod Kundu, a resident of the Boring road.
It is worth mentioning here that Kali Puja coincides with Diwali celebrations every year and hence it is also known as Diwali Kali Puja. Diwali Kali Puja is celebrated with utmost devotion in West Bengal. The major distinction is that when the rest of India worships Goddess Laxmi on the auspicious day of Diwali, the Kali avatar of Goddess Durga is worshipped in West Bengal and by those who have faith in Maa Kali.
The Kali Puja was also performed with great devotion by the members of Bengali community at Kali Mandir at Gardanibagh. Ashutosh Das, a member of Patna Bengali community said, "We eat 14 types of leafy vegetables (saag) before the day of Kali Puja and lit up 14 "diyas" on the eve of Kali puja."
Diwali Kali Pooja
Lighting the authentic diyas on Diwali
Diwali is also called with the name:- "Deepawali" which in the Hindi language means a celebration with lots of "Diyas"."Diya" is a small cup-shaped oil lamp made of baked clay.They’re biodegradable, cheap and versatile. "Diyas" or little clay lamps make their presence felt extensively in this season.
Today’s "Diya" come a long way and has been tweaked from its sometimes boring avatar of being a simple clay lamp. Candle "Diyas" filled with wax, electric "Diyas" with little bulbs at the end of each wick and floating "Diyas" made of powered stone are some varieties. The Electric diyas are priced at Rs. 90 and are available at stores selling puja articles
Make the most of your "Diyas"
■ Soak your "Diyas" in water for at least a day to reduce oil absorbency.
■ Save this year’s batch for next year as well. Add a few more new ones next year to ward off superstition.
■ Buy thick wicks and insert them into wick holders. Cover the surface of a huge pot of water with oil. The wicks will burn just as well and will float on the surface.
■ Use broken or cracked "Diyas" as candle holders. This way all the melted wax is easier to clean up.
■ Alternatively, fill the broken ones with flower petals for a festive look.
Creative Candles and decorations
Be creative. Make decorative candles and "Diyas" at home. A very simple procedure can help making these candles. All you need is moulds of different shape, wax, and a decorative bowl.
1) Melt wax in a pan
2) Ad colours to it.
3) Put molten wax in moulds and add a wick in each.
4) Let it cool down and slowly remove it from moulds.
5) Add some water in a bowl along with flower petals
6)Lit these candles and let them float in water
Floating candles. An eye soothing and decorative piece
Best food item you enjoy eating on Diwali festival
What the best food item you enjoy eating on Diwali festival
Decorate the house with lots of colourful lights. Various kinds of lights are available in the market. Also available are corresponding switches, connectors and wires. It could be coiled around fence or balcony or could be applied in various shapes.
Tasty sweets in Diwali festival
Make sweets at home. Various Indian sweets like "ladoos" or jalebi" are made in homes. One could also buy them from the nearest store. Sweets made of "cashew nuts" , "almonds" etc are available.
Hindu Prayers and traditions
Statues of Indian Gods:- "Laxmi" and "Ganesh" are to be bought. Pray them to maintain happiness, prosperity and wealth in life. While in Hindu tradition, Lord Ganesha is the God of happiness and prosperity, Hindu goddess Laxmi is of wealth and money. Along with this, this day is also celebrated for Lord Rama, since on this day he returned home after 14 years of exile.
In Hindu tradition, "Prayer" is done with Laxmi Ganesh idols. Bath them with water, milk, curd, honey. Then decorate them with beautiful clothes and ornaments. The first bite of sweets and fruits are given to them.
Traditional fragmented "dhoop" "agarbatti" are burned.4 sided Diya is lit and all wicks are lit. This indicates that prosperity should flourish on all sides of the house. Also, bad elements of the house should eliminate.
Diwali pooja prayer
Avoid firecrackers to reduce pollution. Instead of burning, firecrackers distribute sweets among poor children. Give them a Diwali party by cutting a cake or a luxurious dinner.
Share joy and happiness with others. Forgive every foe and start your friendship. Send gifts to neighbours, family members, colleagues and friends.
Peaceful diwali celebrations
Shopping ideas for Diwali
Diwali shopping is an important aspect of this special Hindu festival of lights. All shopping places are flooded with shopping enthusiasts before Diwali. Here are five ideas for some smart Diwali shopping.
- Firstly, decide how much you can spend on shopping during Diwali. Decide your budget in advance to avoid expenses.
- Avoid shopping at the eleventh hour. Plan and get done with your Diwali shopping at least one or two weeks before the festival starts.
- Try out your new clothes before the actual celebration starts to see if they are comfortable and well-fitted.
- Make a shopping list and include everything in it from clothes to crackers. You will not miss out anything while shopping.
- Make a list of all the special offers and discounts that are available during the Diwali season and pick the best ones.
Gift Ideas for friends and family
Celebrations bring joy to them. Everybody loves to receive gifts. Wrap sweet memories and your wishes along with the gifts and send them to your loved ones. Here are five gift ideas for this Diwali.
- Send traditional greeting cards through a post to your loved ones and not email.
- Gift your kith and kin lamps coloured and decorated by you on the festival of lights.
- Gift a set of special aromatic oil that can be used for the special Diwali bash
- How about gifting elegant, colourful, and scented candles to your family and friends
- Gift the little one's gift hampers containing crackers like sparkles, fire pencils, and bombs which they will enjoy bursting.
Fun with family
Decorations on floor
Rangoli is ancient Indian folk art. Rangoli designs are made for important occasions and celebrations. Here are five striking rangoli ideas for this Diwali.
- Make a visit to a rangoli exhibition if you can and get inspired for creating some innovative designs.
- Instead of copying rangoli design from a book, come up with your own rangoli design. You can boast about your creativity a little after receiving loads of compliments.
- Chuck the dots and try a free hand rangoli design this Diwali. You may draw eye-pleasing scenery or a sketch of your favourite actor. Let your imagination flow.
- Fill the surroundings with the fragrance of fresh flowers. Try making rangoli with flower petals during this Diwali.
- Take part in the local or an online rangoli competition. No matter whether you are an expert or amateur in this folk art, just take part and have fun. You can even have a rangoli competition at your place and see how much fun it will be for all the guests participating.
Make a nice rangoli outside the house to welcome God and Goddess.
Gambling in diwali
Do you play gamble on Diwali?
5 special things to do on Diwali
Diwali is for worshipping goddess Laxmi on the day of "Laxmi pujan". Beyond the pious "pujan" Charity is one great way to please the gods. Donate whatever you have and in return get blessings from people you helped. Here are five good deeds you can do on this diwali.
- Distribute crackers among poor children. You will feel contented to see the smiles on their faces.
- Give away your old clothes to needy people, they will bless you.
- Visit an orphanage and distribute sweets among orphans.
- Make a vow to be nice to everyone as diwali symbolises the victory of good over evil.
- Buy something for yourself if you have been longing for it for quiet some time.
Essence of Diwali
1) It gives peace and joy in life. In Diwali just forget your grudges and enjoy with full capacity.
2) It makes us believe that at some day problems end and joy starts. Just like Lord Rama, returned from exile after 14 years, it teaches us to be patient and wait for a good time.
3) It is celebrated when the moon doesn’t shine in sky i.e. in dark moonlight. Still celebrate it with lights, fun and joy. It signifies that when if the entire universe is against us, we still have our inner strength to show is right path and removing darkness.
Diwali a peaceful and joyful festival
© 2015 Shuchi12