Imagine a Christmas tree, with all the lightings and decorations. Now imagine a country adorned just like that, especially for one big day. Impossible, Right?
Well, in India, everything is possible.
Here, we have the unbelievable festival of Diwali which is so huge, the word ‘Huge’ sounds so small to sum it up. Experts (that would be us) believe that one visit wouldn’t be enough to capture the complete experience, unless we’re there for you. Because we make sure you don’t miss out on anything. And yes, by that, we mean “Any single thing”.
WHAT IS DIWALI
Diwali has a huge significance in Indian culture and is mentioned in one of the most ancient Vedic scriptures, “The Ramayana”. It is celebrated every year to remember the home-coming of Lord Rama after an exile of 14 years. It is one of the most vivid festivals around the globe and its vibes can be felt months before. Millions of ‘deeps’ (a small clay-made oil lamp) are lighted on this day to welcome Lord Rama. According to NASA, On the day of Diwali, the country is so lightened up that it can be easily seen from space.
WHERE, HOW AND WHEN DO WE CELEBRATE DIWALI
Diwali is celebrated largely in India (mainly in North India), Fiji, Guyana, Pakistan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago, making it the biggest Hindu festival in the world. Apart from Hinduism, it is also celebrated in Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism. In India, best places to experience Diwali are Delhi, Jaipur, Amritsar, Varanasi and Kolkata.
The most interesting thing about Diwali is that it sounds like 1, but is actually a ‘5-Day Festival’. Yes, not 1 but 5 days of frenzy!
DAY 1: Dhanteras – The Official Day of Shopping
There are times when we go for random shopping and we regret that ‘Maybe I wasted my money without a reason’ or ‘maybe I should’ve stayed home’. Well, Diwali actually gives you a reason to shop without regrets. The pious belief is that shopping on Dhanteras is so lucky; you are not spending your money, you’re actually attracting more of it. Now where can you get a peace of mind like that?
DAY 2: Chhoti Diwali or Mini Diwali
The second day called “Narak Chaturdashi” or “Chhoti Diwali”, is celebrated to mark the end of fear and stress, and is kind of like preparing yourself for the big celebration. Rangoli, a type of color art, is manually made on the floor, in every corner of the house, and ‘Footsteps’ of Maa Lakshmi are also made on the floor at the main entrance, to welcome the goddess. For kids, it’s the day for cracker trials.
DAY 3: Lakshmi Pooja or Diwali
Diwali celebration starts with a brief worship of Maa Lakshmi, (The Goddess of Prosperity). The whole family & relatives gather and sing prayers to Maa Lakshmi. This event is in fact a type psychological cleansing to free a person from all kinds of worries and enjoy the celebration whole-heartedly. After the prayer the celebration begins and kids, in the presence of elders, start the fireworks. After that, there’s a family dinner which has the best of cuisines that is enjoyed with lots of chit chat.
DAY 4: Govardhan Pooja
Govardhan Pooja means Cow Dung Worship, which is a way of paying respect to Lord Krishna (a dairy farmer)who lifted ‘Govardhan’ mountain on his pinky finger to provide his people with shelter underneath it and protected them from a devastating storm. On this day, mountains of edible things (representative of Govardhan mountain) are prepared, worshipped and offered to God as a symbol of devotion. In some parts, in the same way, a mountain of cow-dung is prepared and worshipped.
DAY 5: Bhai Duj
The last day of Diwali is celebrated as Bhai Duj. It is believed that Yamraj, the lord of death, visited his sister and gave her a boon that whosoever will visit her on this day, will be forgiven of their sins. Since that day, brothers visit their sisters and sisters, in turn, worship their brothers.
Diwali is celebrated every year, in the second half of October and this year’s dates are 28th October-1st November 2016.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU
This festival has a diverse range of experiences to offer:
Spend a day with the essence of spirituality in the Indian mythology and get to know the incredible tale of “Victory of good over evil” associated with this day. And trust us; it’s an adventure, minus the boulder chase.
Diwali is a symbol of unity and love among the people of India. They start planning friends & family get-togethers, days before onset of the fest as the real joy of it, is in the togetherness it brings. Feel the love in the air, and live a day soaked in the atmosphere of most convivial family events. And if you think you have tried everything good in the world, think again, because we bet you haven’t tried some of the best, soul-tingling, silk-made cultural threads of India; Kurta Pajama (for men) and Saree (for women), which is formally the dress code for Diwali in India. These clothes have been preferred from a safe point view, because they fit perfectly and also silk is less prone to catching fire. Apart from that, these clothes are so comfortable; you can literally ‘feel Diwali’.
So this October, don’t miss a chance to develop a deeper understanding of the culture that’s so far a mystery to you.
Indian sweets are waiting to take over your taste buds for good.
Indian people are very friendly. They hold a sense of pride in their culture and are always ready to share it with you. And there’s not a day better than Diwali to have that kind of an opportunity. And just like you carry Flowers & Champagne on a date, you carry Sweets on a Diwali visit to a family. Not a hard and fast rule, but it’s a good notion that you respect their culture and are in with the celebration. Generally, dry fruits and dry sweets are to be carried as gift. And in return, you get lots of genuine love and sweets like ‘Nutty Cashew Barfi’, Saffron milk based ‘Ras Malai’, Sumptous condensed milk based ‘Gulab Jamuns’ and many more. There’s literally an arsenal of it. So, by now, if you’re already confused which ones to go for, ‘Welcome to the Official Day of Sweets’.
Savor the endless fun with unlimited crackers and blow your stress away with an endless arsenal of the same to discover the child within you, once again.
Believe it or not, every year a minimum of $2 billion is spent on Diwali crackers. $2 billion worth of materialistic pleasure burnt to ashes, and nothing changes. What could be a better way to know we’re missing something in this pursuit of everything? We know it would be hard for you to believe, unless you experience it. And for those who want to stay adult anyway, if you like cowboys, “Welcome to the Official day of gun powder”!
Sleep to a beautiful canvas of a sky incredibly painted with fireworks.
Diwali celebration doesn’t end with the day, and the beauty of it can be truly absorbed by just looking at the night-sky. It’s like a painting, but like a painting that keeps moving all night. Remember Harry Potter movies? Yes, like that. And you know what’s funny about it? It’s that you can’t tell if it’s a dying star or a rocket.
WHY YOU MUST VISIT
Most of the times when we say ‘India’, we imagine a mystery, a mix of cultures, an amalgamation of amazing experiences and what not. And then there are few things which are so inseparable from the word ‘India’, a trip without experiencing those is sort of incomplete. Diwali is one such experience. And it is so vast, watching it on TV or hearing about it, isn’t even a bit close to how magnanimous it actually is. You have to see it to believe it.
For a safe and joyful Diwali, it would be best to opt for our Boutique Tour, designed exclusively for you by us, because we understand how special you and your needs are.
So just hold the feeling, the rush, which you’re having right now, right this very moment and think no further in planning a trip to India, this Diwali.
Because all it takes is packing your bags and leaving the rest to us.
Published by – Chinmay Sati