The festival of Diwali falls in the months of October and November. It not only it marks the change of season but also brings with it the New Year (Hindu calendar). The Diwali festival is welcomed across the world with anticipation and joy. Farmers, shop owners and businessmen all look forward to the change and pray to the gods to bless them with success in their field of work. Farmers pray for good corps, businessmen for more business and shop owners pray to have a good sale. Diwali is a festival, which transcend the boundaries of religion and regions.
However, no celebrations of Diwali can be complete without the following components:
Lights: Deepavali in Sanskrit means a string of lights. Lights are the most important part of any Diwali celebrations. Traditionally earthenware diyas (oil lamps) were used to decorate the homes and workplaces. Lights are a symbol of the good that drives away the evil of darkness. In today’s modern times, candles, lanterns, lamps and the strings of electric lights have also joined the group of Diwali lighting-ware along with diyas. These lights are used to decorate homes, offices, shops and even the streets. People light up every corner of their homes, as lighting the house is an invitation for the goddess of wealth Laxmi to come and reside in their homes and workplaces for the year.
Firecrackers: The attractive firecracker displays on Diwali is something that both the old and young enjoy. The lights and sounds fill up the sky on this day. Children especially look forward to this part of Diwali. The firecrackers on Diwali include firepots, colorful sparklers, matches, rockets, snakes, small pot bombs and ground wheels (chakri) etc. It’s believed that the sound of the firecrackers scares the evil away.
New clothes and jewelry: It is a custom to wear new clothes and jewelry on this day. People prepare for the evening prayers by dressing up in their new and best clothes. New clothes are worn in the celebration of the New Year. New jewels are believed to attract wealth to the home of the wearer.
Sweets: What’s a festival without sweets? Sweets have a special place in Diwali celebrations. Sweets such as Gulab Jamun, Ghujiya (sweet rolls), Rasgulla (Indian cheese in sweet syrup), Laddoos, burfis (Indian fudge) etc. are prepared in each home. Sweets and other dry fruits are exchanged with near and dear ones with wishes that the festival of Diwali would bring happiness and prosperity to their homes too. Sweets are also distributed to celebrate the death of evil.