Diwali is one of the biggest religious festivals in India. Hindus celebrate by bursting firecrackers, lighting diyas or lamps, cleaning and decorating their homes, buying new clothes, and making hand-painted rangoli designs in their living rooms and courtyards. Prayers are offered to Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity. Diwali signifies the victory of good over evil. The festival marks the return of Lord Rama after defeating the demon King Ravana. Bonfires are lit to burn away evil spirits.
A Flower-Filled Festival
Diwali is celebrated throughout the country over 5 days, between the middle of October and early November. The dates vary by a few days every year. Goa is mostly Christian, but Diwali is still a big festival here.
Diwali in India
India is a huge country with many customs, traditions, and festivals, which differ from one part of the country to another. But this is one festival that truly unites the country. It is celebrated throughout India, including Goa. Outside of India too, Hindus celebrate Diwali.
There are many customs and traditions of the festival. Homes are cleaned and decorated with lamps and rangolis, offices and shops are also repaired and cleaned, families give away gifts, offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi for good luck and prosperity, the streets are decorated with lights, and people burn firecrackers loudly. Homes and businesses will buy new things during the festival, as this is deemed auspicious. Diwali is about celebrations, the coming together of family and friends, and also the victory of good over evil. In many places, especially in North India, and in some areas of the west, east, and south, it is the main festival.
Flowers and Offers
It's no coincidence that flowers are an established and important - sometimes even daily - part of making offerings. In Buddhism and Hinduism, flowers represent generosity and show the beauty of enlightenment. You make offerings in a holy place: in the temple, by a stupa, or beside holy waters such as the Ganges in India, for example. Whilst offering you can visualize that you are presenting the flowers as a wreath, but there is also the scope from music, a chant, or dance.
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