Enjoy wealth, good fortune, and delicious holiday foods? How about fireworks and family celebrations?
If you’re a fan of these, you should start celebrating Diwali immediately.
Diwali, the Festival of Lights
Diwali is the Hindu New Year, celebrated each year around mid-October. It is an iconic festival of light during the beginning of the dark winter season. People all over the world light twinkling lamps, eat holiday sweets, wear new clothes, and gather with family and friends to celebrate the new year.
The holiday specifically honors the goddess of wealth and good luck, Lakshmi – in hopes that she will bless everyone with good fortune in the coming year.
Sounds like a great holiday, right? You can do it too!
Seven easy steps to celebrate Diwali like a pro:
Step 1. Clean Your House!
First step for any at-home holiday? Cleaning!
This tradition is a double-whammy: it clears your personal space of any mental or physical baggage, and gets you ready to welcome the new year with all its good stuff.
After cleaning thoroughly, it’s traditional to open the windows so that Lakshmi can enter (and bring her blessings of wealth and good luck.)
Step 2. Decorate!
Get yourself some strings of festive lights, flower garlands and bright wall hangings. This is a festival of light and color!
To go all out, try decorating the entrance to your home with rangoli, These elaborate designs are drawn on the floor, and later filled in with vibrant colors.
Traditionally, creating rangoli is a fun social activity that women do together, although nothing says men can’t join the fun!
3. Light Some Diyas, Special Clay Lamps
Diyas are special clay lamps to light during Diwali. They symbolize inner light, and you light them to fight off darkness and ignorance and embrace inner peace. Not a bad way to begin the new year, eh?
Additionally, it is believed that Lakshmi cannot enter a house which is not lit up. So if you want the goddess of wealth and good fortune to come in, light ’em up!
4. Enjoy Sweets and Snacks!
Any proper Diwali celebration includes tons of holiday snacks and sweet treats. It’s traditional to make your own by hand, and share them with friends and family.
Feel like making some Diwali treats? Try your hand at one of these essential Diwali classics:
- Gulab Jamun – sweet deep-fried milk dumplings
- Namak Paare – fried spicy crackers
- Mathri – crispy seasoned crackers
- Gujiya – sweet and savory filled pastries
5. Light Up the Night with Fireworks
Diwali is an exuberant festival! It’s lively and loud and celebratory – that requires fireworks!
Fireworks drive away the darkness, and ward off evil spirits who might be lurking. They’re a vital part of the festival. Traditionally, everyone takes part in the fireworks – from kids to elders. Light up the night!
6. Go Gambling
Diwali is all about welcoming wealth and good luck into your life. And what better way to activate those than gambling?
Traditionally, people go gambling two days before Diwali, to ensure good luck for the coming year.
Pro tip: In honor of Lakshmi, the female player always wins.
7. Celebrate with Family and Friends
Finally, put on your nice new clothes and jewelry. It’s time to celebrate!
Get together with family and friends. Share gifts and sweets, gamble and light firecrackers. In India, schools and businesses close for this national holiday. If you’re outside of India, take the day off, or plan an evening of festivities.
However you celebrate, have a safe and happy Diwali.