Deepavali: What You need To Know

Deepavali is a beautiful festival and is an amalgamation of festivals and that makes it a very unique festival in its’ own right.

Deepavali or Diwali is also known as the Festival of Lights and it’s celebrated by Hindus all over the world. This celebration is exceptionally grand in India where the majority are Hindus but in Malaysia, it is celebrated in a much smaller scale.

Like all festivals, it’s the time to gather, celebrate, eat and meet up with family and friends. There are various legends behind Deepavali but if there’s one thing we all know, it’s the triumph of light over darkness.

A few different (little known) versions are the worship of the Goddess Kali (the fierce form of Goddess Durga) and also Lord Ganesha (The elephant headed God) and also the commemorate battles won by Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, and Lord Vishnu over fighting demons and demon kings.

Here are some interesting things you can do during Deepavali:

Lighting of Diyas

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Diyas are known as oil lamps to literally celebrate the Festival of Lights. Like Christmas, Christians use LED lights, candles and decorative lights, Hindus use beautiful clay lamps decorated with paintings to light their houses.

Kolam designs

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Kolam or Rangoli is a traditional Indian folk art, where dyed rice, chalk, rice flour or chalk powder is used to create stunning and colourful designs on the floor. They are normally drawn by women and to welcome prosperity into their homes.

Oil baths

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Hindus will wake up early in the morning to bathe and the head of the house (Usually the father) will anoint all members of his family with a little bit of oil on their heads as a sign of new beginnings. Also, to remove the year’s worth of pride, ego, anger, fights and jealousy. It symbolizes the physical cleansing of the body and spiritual cleansing of the mind.

New Clothes

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Like every festival, new clothes are really important. The women will wear beautiful and colorful sarees while the men will wear exquisite veshti or kurtas. Since Deepavali also means new beginnings, new clothes are very important.

Deepavali snacks

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Deepavali has some very interesting sweets and snacks such as Nei urunde (Ghee balls), Achi Muruku (It’s like Kuih Kapit but in the shape of a flower), Omma Podi (Mix of green peas and kacang), Jelebi (Looks like a giant muruku and taste like oranges) and Gulab Jamoon (Ghee Balls in sugar syrup) and also Halwa (Indian version of Turkish Delight)

Exchanging Gifts

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Like the Chinese with their Ang Pows, and the Malays and their duit raya, the Indians have their own version as well. They exchange gifts like Christmas, they give ang pows like Chinese New Year and gift “buah tangan” like Hari Raya.

Visiting and Receiving Blessings

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Picture from Daijiworld

Indians will visit the older generations like their grandparents and older family members, some actually pray for the dead the night before Deepavali.

Deepavali is a beautiful festival and is an amalgamation of festivals and that makes it a very unique festival in its’ own right.

Happy Deepavali!

Article from Hubpages and Diwali Celebrations