HAPPY DIWALI 2022: The pan-Indian festival of Diwali is celebrated with much fervor in the country. People celebrate this day by praying to Goddess Lakshmi, lighting earthen lamps, sharing sweets, and bursting firecrackers. In most states in North India, the festival is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after his 14-year-long exile.
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However, the festival of lights is celebrated in different ways, and to mark various events in other parts of the country. Read on to find out How Diwali is celebrated in different parts of the country.
Goa: Celebrating Lord Krishna
The locals in Goa celebrate Lord Krishna’s victory over the demon Narakasura on the occasion of Diwali. Streets are filled with enormous busts of this demon; some of the statues are even ignited with fireworks to symbolise the victory of light prevailing over darkness. What is shared with the rest of India is how Goans distribute sweets and food and decorate their homes with lights.
West Bengal: Kali Puja
In West Bengal, Diwali coincides with Shyama Puja or Kali Puja, which takes place after sunset. Devotees offer Goddess Kali all kinds of sweets, lentils, rice, and even non-vegetarian food like fish and meat. Bengalis also perform the Bhoot Chaturdashi ritual to keep evil powers at bay by lighting up fourteen diyas (earthen lamps) at home a day before Kali Puja.
Tamil Nadu, too, observes Naraka Chaturdashi (the day North India observes as Choti Diwali) as the main day of the Diwali festival. The day starts with an oil bath before sunrise, with a number of rituals being performed throughout the day. Tamilians light the ‘kuthu vilaku’ (lamp) and offer ‘neivedyam’ to deities. Kolam, a mixture of rice powder, is used to draw designs in front of houses in a fashion similar to Rangoli in North India.
Odisha: Kaunriya Kathi
Odisha has a very unique celebration of Diwali. Here, people burn jute sticks to welcome their ancestors, who, it is believed, descend from heaven on the day of Diwali. This happens during Kaunriya Kathi. Often, the jute burning is followed by a prayer that beseeches ancestors to visit in darkness and return along the lighted path.
In Gujarat, Diwali marks the end of the traditional year. Thus, on the day of Labh Pancham (five days after Diwali), families celebrate the restarting of business for the New Year. Several rituals are performed at homes to please Goddess Lakshmi and to ward off the evil eye.
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