What Is Diwali? (And How to Celebrate It)

How to celebrate Diwali

As author and consultant Anjula Devi says, “It’s very important just before Diwali that the house is cleaned. It has to be spotless. This is done so that you can sweep out any clutter. It is also a time for people to reflect and free their hearts of anything which has been troubling them or casting a shadow over their lives.”

Diwali is also a time to get rid of the old and usher in the new. In the days leading up to the festival of lights, celebrants pray to Laksmi, the goddess of prosperity and overall wealth.

Traditionally during this time homes are decorated with vibrant colorful Rangoli. Rangoli are intricate patterns drawn on the floor with flowers, sand, rice and flour. You could create your version of Rangoli with colorful sand and paper.

Advertisement

Holidays wouldn’t be the same without desserts, and Diwali is no different. Times of India has a list of treats traditionally eaten on the holiday, such as Gulab Jamun, a dessert made with rose water, sugar, milk powder and cardamom.

The main event of Diwali is the most exciting. Celebrated on the third day and the darkest night of the year, the new moon. The rituals include fireworks to symbolize the return of Rama and Sita and Lakshmana to the Kingdom of Ayodha. The most common tradition—lighting “Diyas,” or clay pots with oil and cotton wicks, is amazing.

Advertisement

This story was originally published in November 2020 and was updated on November 4, 2021 to meet Lifehacker style guidelines.