Did you know all of the festivals have a different significance depending on where you are celebrating it? Diwali, one of the biggest festivals in India, is a festival of lights, sweets and victory of good over evil. Though the main theme is common across the country, the way we celebrate it differs as we travel across the landscape. At PlantScience, we are fascinated by the various customs across India and the world. We are sure you would love learning the about them.
Diwali Across India
For children in Tamil Nadu, Diwali begins with waking up early to take a traditional oil bath. The oil is infused with herbal goodness especially from betel leaves, pepper, cinnamon and many more spices. A special kashayam is served after the bath followed by a grand feast to keep up their energy all day. Evening is reserved for sweets, crackers and games.
In Andhra, the celebration is focussed on Satyabhama who saved Lord Krishna in the war against Narakasura and the day is spent in puja and ending with crackers. Traditional food includes vadas, rice payasam and ariselu. Is your mouth watering already?
A little further to the west, in Karnataka and Kerala, the celebration is more prominent on the day of Naraka Chaturdasi just like Goa, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and few parts of Maharastra. Applying aromatic oils on the body before a hot water bath, wearing new clothes followed by a large sumptuous breakfast starts their day.
In Goa, paper effigies of Narakasura are burnt with hay and firecrackers. In Gujarat, Danteras is the biggest shopping occasion as people welcome good fortune and prosperity.
In Orissa, the celebration, called Kauriya Kathi, is a bit different where people worship their ancestors and burn jute sticks. It is important to note that here Ganesha is worshipped along with Goddesses Lakshmi and Kali.
In West Bengal, Kali Puja is celebrated where fish and meat are offered to the Goddess along with her favourite flower, Hibiscus. In some places, Coconut is offered to Hanuman along with sesame seeds, poha and jaggery. Yes, Hanuman!
Diwali in Japan
Did you know Diwali is also celebrated across the seas in Japan? A fireworks show is conducted by the government on the occasion which attracts hundreds of people to witness. People wear the traditional kimono, Junichi and Yukata belt. Towards the evening people gather around the main display areas where food trucks, games around the streets create a carnival-like atmosphere while fireworks light up the night sky.
Unlike what we expect, Diwali is also celebrated in Sri Lanka with the same fervour though they do not explicitly talk about victory of Rama over Ravana. They do celebrate the defeat of evil and the victory of good. Women wear beautiful sarees, offer prayers in temples, light up oil lamps. Evenings are reserved for big feasts with families coming together along with crackers and music. Sugar crystals called “Musiri” are made especially for this occasion.
Lam Kriyongh – Diwali in Thailand
On a clear night, you might see the stars reflecting in the water on the seas. But for Diwali in Thailand, where it is celebrated as Lam Kriyongh, the water bodies light up with lamps made from banana leaves. Candles are lit in them and set afloat with coins wishing for prosperity to come home. Lam Kriyongh is the one time when the sky is lit up with crackers and the waters with lamps – spreading the message of hope and light all around.
Diwali across borders
Thanks to booming Indian population and the celebrations that come with festivities, Diwali is breaking new frontiers every year. Today, Diwali is celebrated in Pakistan, Nepal, Singapore, Malaysia. Fiji, Australia, USA, Mauritius and Africa among other nations. Though it is a different belief, cultural ritual across various states, some entirely different from the other, it is considered a season of auspicious time. Whether it is the celebration of Kali or Satyabhama or Krishna or Rama, Diwali has a clear message – the victory of light over darkness.
May this Diwali bring unlimited light, happiness to your family and loved ones. #HappyDiwali
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