In India, our biggest and the most beloved of all festivals is upon us. Everyone is as excited and eager as can be, especially as is it will be an eager distraction from the pandemic. Diwali is one festival that is celebrated pretty much throughout the country and on a huge scale. But, as it is celebrated in a lot of regions, the way it is celebrated varies in ways in certain ways. When it comes to traditions and rituals, they change from state to state, each state having unique ways of its own. If you have ever wondered how it is celebrated elsewhere in the state, or would like to know now, keep on reading.
Diwali in Goa feels nothing less than a carnival. The whole state is lit up, and a lot of families come here at this time, not just for vacation but also to celebrate the festival. Huge effigies of the demon Narkasura are propped up throughout the state, each one looking bigger and scarier than the last. Competitions are held over these statues and the hugest one wins. Lord Krishna is celebrated on largely, as he killed this demon Narkasura. A popular ritual in Goa and a lot of South Indian places is to smear oil, particularly coconut oil, all over your body to rid yourself of all the sins.
This state has its own unique way of celebrating Diwali, and is done so by performing native tribal rituals. The ancestors who have passed on and are in heaven are worshiped by the people. This ritual is known as Kauriya Kathi. Here, they burn sticks of jute and hail to their ancestors. They believe this invokes them and in return, they receive their blessings.
The Bengalis celebrate Diwali by worshiping Kali Ma. They perform Kali Puja, also known as Shyama Puja. They celebrate the fall of demons Shambhu and Nishambhu by Kali Ma. Many offerings are made to her, like hibiscus flowers, sweets, fish, and even meat. Some famous temples where this puja happens on a pretty large scale are Dakshineshwar & Kalighat. During this time, you can also explore cities like Hubli here, to discover how Diwali is celebrated in households. This also gives you a perfect excuse to enjoy traditional rasgullas!
Diwali is not just Diwali in this holy city, but it is more than that. Here, it is Dev Deepavali. The locals believe this to be Diwali of Gods. They believe that Gods and Goddesses from above themselves come and have a dip in the Ganges. This is generally celebrated on a full moon night. The people clad the ghats in hundreds of diyas and lamps, to welcome the higher beings from above onto the earth. The moonlight and the light from the diyas are said to be the guiding lights for the gods to find their way on land, or rather the river. Pandtis can be doing the Aartis on the banks of Ganga. A lot of spiritual people from outside the country can also be seen in this Pooja, in Ganga Mahotsav.
Kashmiris worship Lord Narayan and celebrate him on Diwali. He is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Diwali here is also celebrated in the form of Sukhsuptika which simply translates to sleep with happiness. Lamps and diyas are lit, and placed in various places, especially at the foot of trees and in lakes or streams. Sweets are not big in Kashmir; hence, they prepare sweet puris which are made as an offering to the Gods, mainly Lord Narayan.
These were some of the very unique ways they celebrate Diwali in India. The common traditions being lighting diyas, colorful lanterns, doing Laxmi Pooja and dressing up in beautiful traditional Indian clothes. Having no prior knowledge about the rituals in the different states, these definitely were a surprise to me. I hope you learnt something new from this article and enjoyed it. Do have a wonderful Diwali, with lots of Faraal, and stay safe.
- Kinjal Dixit