How do I make Diwali special
Diwali, Festival of Lights - one of India's most beautiful festivals
Experience a lavish party! At the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, families and friends come together to celebrate the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. Enchanting Travels employee Jen has lived and worked in India for many years and will tell you the best way to celebrate Diwali during your India trip. You will be enchanted!
What is Diwali about?
Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, can be compared to Christmas because of its spiritual significance and its central role in the Indian festival calendar. On Diwali, Hindus in India celebrate the victory of good over evil, light over shadow, truth over lies and life over death. The festival takes place every year between October and November
When does Diwali take place?
Diwali 2020: Sat, November 14, 2020
Diwali 2021: Thu 4th November 2021
Diwali 2022: Mon, October 24, 2022
Diwali 2023: Sun 12 November 2023
Expert tip: The best travel time for India travel between October and November - at this time you not only experience Diwali but can also look forward to ideal weather conditions almost all over the country!
Why is Diwali celebrated?
Diwali is the festival of light. It is celebrated by the Hindus across India for up to five days between mid-October and mid-November, depending on the region. Each day of the festival has its own meaning.
The name is derived from the Sanskrit word Deepavali from. Deepa means as much as light and Vali means row. Diwali symbolizes the victory of light over darkness.
The unbelievable variety of festivals that India celebrates fascinates me - and I love that the festivals of different religions are celebrated by all Indians!
Jen Marsden has lived in Bangalore for many years
The Festival of Lights is a Hindu holiday. For many Hindus, it is the most important festival of the year that is celebrated with the family. A feast is enjoyed with the family, lights are lit and small gifts are exchanged.
Diwali is a festival of lights and fairy lights are hung, oil lamps lit and fireworks are celebrated throughout India.
Diwali also commemorates the coronation of Prince Rama from Hindu mysticism. After 14 years of exile, he had killed the demon Ravana, whereby good prevailed over evil.
Diwali: A personal report from Jen Marsden
It has been almost seven years since I moved to India to join the Enchanting Travels team in our Bangalore office. What I love most about this huge country is that, even after so many years, it still amazes me. No two days are alike here and it is unlikely that I will ever sink into routine and monotony (as I write this, a little green parrot just flew onto my windowsill to say hello!). This is especially true during the festival season from October to December. Every religious and cultural festival in India is unique, colorful and exhilarating and the festivities and rituals can look completely different from region to region.
One of my favorite festivals in India is Diwali, known as the Festival of Lights. Most often it takes place in October, the exact date changes every year and depends on the phase of the moon. India celebrates Diwali for five days and thus provides the starting signal for a whole series of festivals that last until January 1st, the New Year of the Gregorian calendar.
Diwali is one of the most important Hindu festivals and is celebrated across the country, but with different traditions and focuses. I love that Diwali really brings people together. Diwali is a time of family and community. The streets and houses are with Diyas, small oil lamps made of clay, illuminated - that creates a very special, festive atmosphere.
Expert tip: If you can't travel to India at the time of Diwali - don't be sad! Because there is always something going on in India, for example:
Onam - Thanksgiving Day in the Kerala region (in August / September)
Jaisalmer desert festival - one of the most entertaining festivals in India (February)
and numerous other festivals!
Last year I walked with friends for hours through my neighborhood in Bangalore, South India, to experience the festivities up close. People, young or old, came out of their houses and apartments to celebrate together on the streets and watch the fireworks.
The little ones could look forward to sparklers and lots of homemade sweets.
To witness how people come together in the middle of the metropolis of Bangalore and the community spirit awakens, melted my heart.
After all the years I've lived in India, I still find it incredible that many of my Indian colleagues at Enchanting Travels invite our guests to their own private parties in their homes. This illustrates the meaning of a phrase from the ancient Hindu scriptures: Atithi Devo Bhava - The guest is God. This lived hospitality is really something very special. How many of us would invite complete strangers into our own home for Christmas?
Sarika Chopra, a colleague who lives in the suburbs of Delhi, is one of those special people who rekindled the old spirit of hospitality. A few years ago she opened her home to not just one or two people, but a large group of Australian guests. The travelers came to India with Enchanting Travels because of their charitable causes through their international Rotary club connections.
It was heartwarming to see how Sarika's little children kindly explained to their guests the importance of the family traditions - from the pujas (prayers) to the sweets and gifts to the adorable Diya lamps.
Millions of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and members of some Buddhist groups around the world celebrate Diwali. Influenced by the phases of the moon, the festival probably has its origins in ushering in a new season for agriculture.
Diwali is also the New Year celebrations for the Hindus. They celebrate the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.
In Hindu mythology, the five-day festival honors the god Rama, an avatar of the god Lord Vishnu. He returned to his people after winning a battle against the demonic king Ravana. On the fourth day of Diwali, Laxmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity, is also honored.
At the Festival of Lights, it is common, especially in major north Indian cities such as Delhi, to organize colorful fireworks and fire loud firecrackers. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle on your trip to India, then I recommend that you experience the original festivities in rural regions.
In recent years, the trend has been moving away from celebrating with fireworks, but above all from the loud bangers, through education at schools and workplaces. Last year, our CEO Parik Laxminarayan, who also runs our offices in India, was informed by his seven year old daughter that she was planning to “boycott” any type of celebration that uses fireworks. You and your little friends would agree that they are not good for the environment. It seems that the future generation is already made up of excellent environmentalists!
To ensure that people can still experience the wonderful play of lights in the dark sky, many cities offer public fireworks.
Diwali during your India tour
At Enchanting Travels, we love to enjoy the magic of local festivals to the full and share this experience with our guests.
This year, as a guest of Enchanting Travels, you have the opportunity to take part in a very special Diwali celebration right outside Jaipur in a traditional fort. In Rajasthan, the home of the former Indian kings, you can celebrate together with guests from all over the world!
The glow of hundreds of diyas and fairytale lights as well as decorated elephants, camels and horses will enchant you and bring you closer to the festival of lights. You are invited to learn more about rangoli, a traditional art form in which filigree patterns are created from colored sand, in the courtyard of the fortress. You will also learn how the traditional sweets are made for this unique festival! Hear performances by musicians playing traditional Rajasthani music, enjoy a sumptuous Indian feast and private fireworks!
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