The largest and brightest festival in India, Diwali is round the corner which spiritually signifies the ‘victory of good over evil‘. The idea behind the ‘Diwali’ comes from various versions of ancient Hindu stories. In Northern India, Diwali remarks holy Lord Rama’s return to ‘Ayodhya’ from a twelve-year exile and celebrations by the people who decorated their city with diyas (oil lamps) and earthen lamps to welcome him back. In southern India, the story talks of the Goddess Durga’s triumph over the evil demon Narakasura. Not only in India, Diwali is a very famous festival celebrated with joy in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji. Different communities celebrate the ‘festival of lights’ differently with distinct motives, Jains celebrate to mark the attainment of ‘moksha’ by Mahavira, Sikhs celebrate ‘Bandi Chhor Divas’ and some Buddhists celebrate by remembering ‘Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism’.
Ideally, Indians celebrate Diwali by decorating their houses with diyas, candles and tiny lights, and bursting crackers but different cities have unique ways of celebrating the festival. So, here we have covered how different cities in India celebrate the auspicious and pious occasion of Diwali or Deepavali.
Diwali In Varanasi (Credits: Lonely Planet Website)
Varanasi celebrates Diwali with millions of lit oil lamps and people at the shore of the Ganga river. The steps on the riverside are illuminated by the lights of thousands of diyas and fireworks over the river which adds on the mesmerizing view. There’s also a spiritual aura lent by the chants and recitals at the riverside.
Sikhs celebrate BandiChhorh Divas, which coincides with the third day of Diwali. The festival celebrates the release of Guru Hargobindji and 52 princes in 1619. The beautifully lit Sri Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) is a sight one can’t miss during Diwali. Devotees set oil lamps and candles floating in the lake surrounding the temple and rounding off the celebrations with a spectacular fireworks display, and endless rounds of bursting firecrackers.
Kali Puja also known as Shyama Puja is a festival dedicated to the Goddess Kali, celebrated on the new moon day of the Hindu month Kartik. It coincides with Lakshmi Puja on Diwali. While the Bengalis worship Goddess Kali on this day the rest of India worships goddess Lakshmi.
Jaipur, ‘the pink city’ is covered with lights which is an awesome view that one can’t miss on Diwali. Streets, houses and markets are all illuminated. Jaipur also conducts a competition almost every year for the best decorated and most brilliantly lit up market which attracts visitors from all over India.
Goa is famous for Diwali celebrations as well other than Christmas and New Year eve or cultural festivals. Maximum population in Goa considers gambling an auspicious ritual on Diwali but the celebrations also focus on the destruction of demon Narakasura who was killed by Lord Krishna. Competitions are held in every village and city, where people compete to make the biggest and scariest effigy of the demon. These demons are then burned on the day before Diwali.
Diwali celebrations in Mumbai last for at least four days in Mumbai. Diwali celebrations in Mumbai tend to carry a more sacred and holy aura along with colourfully decorated markets and shops with handicrafts, jewellery and others. Houses are decorated with ‘rangolis’ and beautifully lit diyas. The best place to celebrate Diwali in Mumbai is Marine Drive where huge masses of people gather to see the spectacular fireworks.
We from the Team Gyanlab wish all our readers a very bright and joyous Diwali.
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