In a country as diverse as India, it is not a surprise that the festival of lights, Diwali is celebrated in multiple ways. From conducting aartis for different deities to exchanging Deepavali gifts with your loved ones, Diwali is a customary festival celebrated in its own manner across the different states of the nation. Moreover, every state believes in different legends associated with the festival.
Below is the glimpse of how each state in India celebrates Diwali in their own special way:
- Andhra Pradesh
The state of Andhra Pradesh celebrates the victory of Lord Satyabama as he defeats the evil demon, Narakasura. In addition to this, the people residing in this state dress in new traditional outfits to welcome the festival of wealth and prosperity with happiness.
Before the actual day of Diwali arises, the people of Bihar commence the festivities by celebrating ‘Choti Diwali.’ On Choti Diwali, they fast until the sun sets in. On the next big day of Diwali, they bathe in Ganga to begin the main Diwali traditions and rituals.
In Goa, everyone believes the popular legend behind Diwali celebrations that said Lord Krishna defeated Narakasura with his Sudharshan Chakra. For honouring this event, Goans set the handmade sculptures of the demon on fire. They even hold a competition of creating the scariest demon on this day.
Kashmiri pandits celebrate Diwali with great enthusiasm. Their celebration is incomplete without a visit to the pristine Dal Lake, which is decorated with millions of floating diyas. The beautiful diyas floating on the surface of the lake amidst the snow-clad mountains and peaks is a sight to behold.
Diwali celebrations in Maharashtra commences with Vasu Baras. Every Hindu residing in the state celebrates Dhanteras on Dhantrayoshi and Choti Diwali in the form of Narak Chaturdashi. Along with this, they exchange Diwali gifts and seek blessings from Goddess Lakshmi. The last day comes to an end with Bhaidooj, which again is marked by Bhaidooj gifts and prayers.
Over here, people build a light way in the dark with bamboos outside their homes. They tie an earthen pot high on the pole with a rope. Each pot consists of glowing diyas that adds lustre to the bamboo shoots. By following this ritual every year, they encourage the spirits of their ancestors to shower them with blessings before departing.
In Rajasthan, Jaipur city hosts a huge shopping festival every year on Diwali. The artisans present at the market sell festive and traditional decorations, household items, and several other appliances. You can even find various eco-friendly gifts for Diwali in these markets. Besides, there are multiple live performances and music shows.
- Tamil Nadu
Tamilians celebrate the Diwali festival a day prior to the actual date. On that day, they bathe in oil before sunrise, light kuthu vikau (lamp), and offer neivedyam to the deities. Along with these Diwali traditions, they also make an ayurvedic medicine (lehyam) that they consume after having sweets.
A mahapuja is performed on the banks of the holy Ganga on Diwali in Varanasi. The ghats of the river are decorated with earthen lamps and candles. After the two-day long celebration, they prepare for the celebrations of Dev Deepavali. It is one of the biggest celebrations on the banks of the river.
- West Bengal
Bengalis celebrate Diwali as Kali Puja. They commence the festival of this day by visiting Kalighat and Dakshineshwar to seek blessings and offer their prayers. On this day, you can find several puja Pandals across the city.
Some ancient Diwali traditions, such as gleaming lights, colourful rangolis, and the night-long card parties never become old. While following age-old rituals is customary, don’t overlook the modernised way of celebrating with personalised gifts and sweets. Exchanging gifts on Diwali helps in building a strong relationship with your loved ones. If your near and dear ones live miles away, send Diwali gifts online to surprise them at their doorstep.