The festival of Lights, Diwali is celebrated with splendor all over India. However, there are regional divergences in the rituals and celebrations. In North India, the celebrations start at Dussehra. There are many legends and customs related to this festival. The things which are common to all is cleaning, decorating and lighting of homes and properties. Fireworks, viewed to scare away evils are also used with abandon, which makes it as a popular festival for children.
What are Diwali Traditions of North India?
In North India, the celebrations of Diwali long for five days. It begins with Dhanteras and ends with Bhai Dooj. Lakshmi Pooja is considered as an important event, performed on actual Diwali. North Indians revere the Diwali as the home returning of Rama, after fourteen years of exile after his victory over Ravana. Thus, Diwali symbolizes the victory of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and light over darkness. In North India, temporary stages are arranged to perform Ramleela, a dramatic interpretation of the tale of Ramayan in the evenings for several days. Gambling with cards reaches to the peaks in the night of the Diwali in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. Although Sikhs do not celebrate Diwali traditionally, they do visit Gurudwara in the evening and burst fireworks. Lakshmi Pooja holds a special importance on the day of Diwali. The houses are cleaned and decorated with diyas and rangoli in order to welcome Goddess Lakshmi, whose blessings bring wealth and prosperity.
Five days Diwali Celebrations in North India:
The first day is celebrated as Dhanteras, people consider that it is auspicious to purchase gold, silver or utensils. The second day is celebrated as Naraka Chaturdasi, every house, property and streets are decorated with lamps. On the third day, actual Diwali is celebrated, Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on this day. The fourth day as Govardhan Pooja, Mountain Govardhan is worshipped. And the fifth day as Bhai Dooj, dedicated to the brother and sister bonding. On Diwali special dishes are made, patanads are made with flour and eaten with jaggery powder and ghee. Poha is made with semi-cooked rice. Askloo is made of rice flour and eaten with chutney or ghee shakkar. Celebrations of Diwali brings hope, purpose and meaning in the people’s lives. People celebrate it with a great job.