In 2013, I got the chance of traveling to New Delhi-India for working purpose. Coincidentally I went there when it’s the time to celebrate Diwali. Diwali also known as the Festival Of Lights is an ancient Hindu festival in India where people celebrated every year. According to Hindu Mythology, Diwali is a festival to celebrate Lord Rama/God Rama upon returning to his kingdom after fought the evil for 14 years. The preparation and festival typically extend over 5 days period. This year (2013), depending on the moon Diwali start on 3rd November and continue until 7th November. I’m very lucky to experience the hype of Diwali Festival and celebrate it with my colleague family. Experiencing festival is always the best with locals!
Two things you would notice easily when Diwali. First, firecrackers. Lots and lots of firecrackers. Imagine whole city celebrate this with sets the firecrackers starting from 6pm to midnight. Wow! They’re loud. Second, you would see Rangoli in houses or sometimes offices (I know my office has it). Rangoli is a decoration using colored powder. In the old days, Rangoli was placed outside the house. However, now the government does not allow it anymore hence it placed inside the house. This I know from a colleague but she does not know when exactly.
Things to do’s during Diwali period are:
- Making Rangoli
- Going to the temple to pray
- Distribute sweets/candies to friends and family
- Wear traditional clothes
- And don’t forget to light the firecrackers.
There are several don’t according to locals you’re not supposed to do on the day of Diwali:
- You’re not supposed to cut your hair and nails
- Don’t buy packaged milk. When you drink milk it has to come from fresh cow milk. Also, when you heated it up, it considers bad luck if it drops on the floor.
Different city and household in India has different ways of celebrate. However, the major things to do are amongst the 5 activities mentioned above. Last but not least during Diwali period don’t forget to greet “Happy Diwali” to friends or locals you encounter.
Data as of October – November 2013