Get ready for some star-attraction festivity this Friday as Deepavali (or also known as Diwali) takes centre stage. A joyous celebration indeed, Deepavali is a national Hindu festival that can be witnessed in most Little Indias around the world. In conventional parlance, "Diwali" simply translates as "row of lamps or lights", and it is widely known as the Festival of Lights.
Prior to the celebrations, it's a must to stock up on scrumptious sweets and snacks (you wouldn't want to miss those irresistible murukus, right?).
This is also the time for families to head downtown to get necessary items to prepare for the big celebration.
Households would undergo thorough spring cleaning as families would decorate their houses with colourful lights, bright lanterns and colourful festive decorations. Families would get together to help with other tasks such as decorating the rangolis or kolams (decorative floor designs formed with coloured rice/ powder).
The Rangoli is a very popular art tradition amongst Indian women. Created on the ground in front of houses, rangolis are believed to bring good luck. Most of the time, rangolis are made using coloured rice but they can also be substituted with flower petals and other colourful materials.
The rangoli design is usually of a flower/ petal shape in geometrical designs. Check out Devi's beautiful rangoli when it was complete:
The Morning of Deepavali
At 3am, the Hindus would awake to perform the first Deepavali ritual which is to have an oil bath. The purity ritual is believed to cleanse the spirit and soul of a person. Respect for the elderly is a prominent practice in the Hindu culture, and so children would bow and ask for their parents' blessings as they touch their feet. After breakfast, the families would head to the temples to pray for happiness and prosperity on this auspicious day.
On Deepavali, the men and women would be clad in fancy new clothes as men would be in a dhoti or kurta and women would don colourful saris or Punjabi suits.
Usually, families would not go out visiting on the first day as they would stay in their homes to host guests who visit them.
The practice of visiting in the Hindu culture is truly exciting. While most open houses would serve a wide variety of delicious food and tempting sweet treats, guests would naturally come bearing gifts. They would often bring popular sweets like halwa (pudding-like dessert made from fruits, vegetables, grains and lentils), burfi (fudge-like sweets) and laddu (round sweets made from flour) to their generous hosts.
As Hindus enjoy indulging in spicy food, open houses would serve dishes like the must-have mutton curry, prawn sambal, chicken tandoori and fish head curry. There are a number of families who are vegetarian and so they would prepare vegetarian dishes such as thosai (fermented pancake made from rice and black lentils), idlis (savoury cakes) and naans (over-baked flatbread).
On Koolred, you can send virtual
Koolgifts to your fellow friends and we have some Deepavali-themed Koolgifts ready for you to send to your fellow friends who celebrate this festive event:
Deepavali is a time to get together with close friends and families, and so
Koolred would like to wish all Hindu Redsters a "Happy Deepavali".
We would also like to thank
Devi for her contribution to the photos in this post, as well as giving us some insights as to how her family celebrates the joyful event.