Diwali, perhaps the most awaited grand festival in India, is celebrated by every citizen of this country with same great zeal, enthusiasm and gaiety. It has crossed the socio-religious, cultural and even the geographical barrier successfully years ago. People of all age groups and all religions take part in this grandeur spontaneously and thus make it a national festival in true sense. People residing outside India celebrate this festival in their own way and get in touch with their families by sending Diwali gifts to India.
Northern India: In this part of India, myth behind Diwali celebrations is the victory of Rama over Ravana. People of North India still continuing this tradition by burning huge effigies of Ravana. Buying of new clothes, shopping, cleaning and whitewashing home are the primary steps of celebration. On Dhanteras, purchasing of any utensil or jewellery or coins are must for the Delhi folk. Ramlila is performed in every street corners and continued for several evenings. Varanasivasi also celebrates Diwali. Ghats of Beneras come alive with thousands of burning diyas. For the people of Jammu & Kashmir, Diwali is the oldest ritual. A tradition of keeping a fast and worshiping Goddess Lakshmi are done by the elders of the family. Apart from traditional Diwali celebration, Punjab celebrate the occasion in honour to memorialize the release of Guru Hargobind Ji from the prison at Gwalior Fort. Thus they light up the entire Golden temple which makes it looking out of the world.
Southern India: In Southern India, Naraka Chaturdashi is the main day of Diwali celebrated with firecrackers at dawn after performing Lakshmi puja. The next day is new moon day when oil lamps are lit around the house. Third day is Balipadyami, the day of Vamana’s triumph over Mahabali. Karnataka experiences a fascinating Diwali celebration as it is a traditional festival there. Diwali in Kerala is a low key festival where beautifully dressed men, women and children visit temples and offer pujas to the God on this day.
Eastern India: Bengalis celebrate “Deepabali” in their unique way as a part of Kali Puja i.e. worship of Goddess Kali. Bengalis light candles in memory of the souls of their departed ancestors. Diwali in Assam has different essence with burning diyas, mithais, decorating doorways with flower garlands, marigolds and mango leaves. In Bihar, Choti Diwali is celebrated on the day before the Diwali. Orissa also celebrates Diwali in the traditional way by lighting diyas. But one ritual that makes Diwali in Orissa unique is that the members of the family burn Jute stems by illuminating the dark path through which the spirits of their ancestors come and then go back to heaven.
Western India: In Maharashtra Diwali is a five day long festival starting from Vasubaras, the 13th day of the Ashwin month. An Aarti of the cow and its calf is performed symbolizing the love between a mother and her child. The next day is Dhanteras or Dhanatrayodashi, a significant day for businessmen and traders. Then the family together enjoys a feast on Faral, a special preparation using delectable sweets and some spicy eatables. On the second day, Laxmi pooja, new account books are opened. Third day is known as Padwa, the first day of the new month Kartik, and the fifth day is Bhaubeej, the day celebrating the brother-sister relationship but unlike Raksha Bandhan it is dedicated to sisters. Gujarat celebrates Diwali in a grand way. Here it commences from aaso vad Agyaras to dev Diwali. Gujaratis create colorful rangolis in their verandas depicting deities related to this festival. On the second day of Diwali, each and every people of Western region perform Lakshmi and Ganesha puja. Fireworks and light works make the whole area looking spectacular from above.