Diwali or sometimes also known as Hindu Christmas is India’s biggest and most important Hindu holiday that is celebrated each year in India and around the world by Hindus. Diwali has the same importance for Hindus as Christmas for Christians. However; it’s a completely religious festival of celebration. It’s celebrated in late October or early in November according to the Hindu calendar. Diwali is an event of more than 1 billion Hindus in India and around the world; some exciting Diwali traditions resemble Christmas and Hanukkah. Before we discuss further, let’s explain the historic background of Diwali first.
History of Diwali
The term Diwali is taken from the Sanskrit word “Deepwali” which means a row of lighted lamps. It’s also known as the Hindu Festival of Lights similar to the Jewish Hanukkah. However; there is a long historic background behind this festival.
Diwali is associated with the story of Rama, who was a prince thrown out of his kingdom along with his wife named Sita by his stepmother who was also jealous of his wife. Rama was exiled for about 14 years along with his wife. He also battled a barbaric king who kidnapped his wife, Sita, after a very tough battle, Ram finally managed to free his wife from that demon king after defeating him in a battle. The couple again returned to their kingdom from where they were exiled 14 years ago, all the people living inside the kingdom celebrated their return with joy and they also lighted the rows of lamps.
There also several other historic Hindu events associated with Diwali including the Welcome of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. It’s an ancient Hindu festival that is celebrated for thousands of years, just like Christmas; people spend time with their loved ones to celebrate this festival.
How Diwali is celebrated? Hindu Christmas Celebrations
The celebration of the Diwali festival lasts for five days. Starting from day one, people clean their homes and start shopping for the preparation. On the 2nd day of Diwali, everyone becomes busy to decorate their homes with clay lamps and especially colored sand to create a beautiful pattern on the floors. The third day is very important or also known as Climax day, on this day; families come together to enjoy and pray. A very warm feast is arranged on this day in which people love to celebrate with their family members and enjoy eating a variety of meals. On the 4th day, friends and family members love to exchange gifts with each other just like Christmas. And finally, on the fifth day of Diwali, everyone visits their relatives especially brothers pay a visit to their married sisters, and enjoy dinner together.
Many people also buy Gold on Diwali as it’s considered auspicious in the Hindu culture. According to some authentic data published by the World Gold Council, India is one of the biggest consumers of Gold during the Diwali Festival. Moreover; according to Hindu traditions, Gold is also known as a symbol of wealth, prosperity, and status.
How can we forget to talk about Food especially when it comes to Diwali Festival? As we have also discussed earlier, during Diwali celebrations rich and savory dishes are specially prepared. All these luxury dishes are prepared for the guests and family members; everyone enjoys the delicious feast together while celebrating Diwali. Some popular Indian sweet dishes are also very popular in Diwali as it’s a holiday of celebration.
Fireworks are a very important part of every Festival, However; when it comes to Diwali, one cannot imagine the celebration of this festival without fireworks. In the memory of Ram and Sita, who were returned to their kingdom after 14 years, fireworks are used to mark their celebration of return and defeat of demon king Ravana. In popular places in India, large firework displays are arranged and thousands of people witness together, but that’s not limited to popular places. If you ever get a chance to visit India on Diwali, you will notice that every street is lighted with fireworks and small crackers. Everyone has their own version of fireworks while celebrating Diwali. According to some surveys, millions of dollars are spent on fireworks during this five-day festival across India. Even in these foreign countries like the UK and the USA, where a large number of Indians live, the trend of fireworks is also on its rise but it’s followed by some rules and regulations.
Religious Prayers (Puja)
On the fifth day of Diwali and even throughout the five-day celebration, special Diwali prayers are offered which is also known as Puja. On this day of celebration, all the Hindus get together and pray to their Hindu Gods with their utmost dedication and celebration. During the 5 day Diwali festival, every Hindu house in India arranges puja at least once in these five days and they also invite their relatives and friends to pray together.
When is Diwali in 2020?
The Hindu Festival of Lights Diwali will be celebrated on the 14th of November this year. November 14 2020 is the exact date of Diwali this year, so if you haven’t started the preparations yet, start it right away as you have very few days left to complete the preparation.
Conclusion About Hindu Christmas
Diwali is one of the greatest Hindu Festivals and almost every Hindu waits desperately throughout the year for this Holiday that has a great religious significance in the Hindu culture. Diwali is a festival of celebration, hope, happiness, and prosperity. Traditional Indian sweets or also known as Mithai are distributed in masses on this day of celebration. However; if you are also planning to celebrate Diwali this year, then don’t forget to remember the needy people living in your community who cannot afford to celebrate this festival of lights. Remember, the true spirit of Diwali is not only to celebrate, but it also tells us to help the poor people of the community and share the moments of happiness with them.