Diwali, a five-day-long “festival of lights” that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, began this week. The holiday emerged from the Hindu religion, but has become a cultural event around the world.
And in light of all the difficulties faced in the past year, especially by the Indian community, it’s unsurprising to see this Diwali holds a lot of significance for many families.
In Hindu culture, the holiday comes from the story of Rama and Sita’s defeat over the evil demon King Ravana. Check out the video below for the whole tale.
How to celebrate
Author and consultant Anjula Devi says in her article Diwali – The true meaning, “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.”
Wish for prosperity
Diwali is 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.
Decorate and eat sweets
Traditionally during this time homes are decorated with vibrant colourful Rangoli. Rangoli are intricate patterns drawn on the floor with flowers, sand, rice and flour. Create your version of Rangoli with colourful sand and paper.
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.
If you’d like to try and make Gulab Jamun at home, TikTok creator Husnaa Malik has shared a simple recipe you can try out. Take a peek below:
The easiest, fool proof gulab jamun! 2C Milk Powder, 1C Self Raising Flour, 1-1.5C Heavy Cream / Sugar Syrup 2C Sugar, 4C Water, 2 Cardamom Pods
Light candles and rejoice
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 symbolise the return of Rama and Sita and Lakshmana to the Kingdom of Ayodha.
This article on Diwali has been updated since its original publish date.