Orange, yellow, green, red an array of lanterns adorned on every window, the sublime fragrance of incense sticks enveloping the air, the sound of prayers and chants filling the senses and small earthen oil lamps gracing the space with its warmth and brightness, Diwali is one of the most magical times of the year in India.
A country’s culture is truly reflected in how its people celebrate their festivals. The fervour, rituals, food and conversations bring you closer to not just the people but even to the land that has welcomed you.
A festival celebrated over a few days, Diwali represents the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and also marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. It commemorates the return of Lord Rama (along with Sita and Lakshman) from his 14-year-long exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana. To mark this joyous occasion, the people of Ayodhya, the capital of Rama, illuminated the kingdom with earthen oil lamps and set off firecrackers. And since then, Diwali has been a festival celebrated across the country.
To dive into the festivities and experience this grand festival, here are three lovely destinations in India.
Oh Delhi and its Diwali vibe! From the old lanes to the new lines, all are decked up to celebrate this vibrant festival. Witness a family home all lit up with hundreds of oil lamps, lanterns and a culinary feast to satiate your senses. Wander inside Dastkar, the Festival of Lights Diwali Mela, that is adorned with unique handicrafts and artisans. Let Delhi host you to this extravagant festival. You will surely leave asking for more.
Diwali in Varanasi is nothing short of an enchanting experience. Watch the stunning Ganga Aarti, ghats illuminated with candles and earthen lamps that are floated down the river. If you wish to experience more, stay back two more weeks and see the spectacular Dev Deepavali on a full moon night, which is even bigger and better here. The sacred air of Varanasi exudes all together a different vibe during the festival of Diwali.
The Pink City is a sight to behold during Diwali. The warm glow of lamps gracing the streets, homes and stores brings out the beauty of the city even more. Shop for traditional clothing, watch the fireworks, learn to create a Rangoli or meet your host family over a lovely festive dinner. Each interaction will take you deep into the culture and customs of this dynamic festival.
No festivity is complete without great food. Diwali promises a host of lovely traditional dishes prepared with lots of love. From fried snacks like samosa, kachori, to delicious sweets like barfi, ladoos, kaju Kati and the list goes on. Your eyes and palate will be on a rollercoaster ride.
Diwali is truly an occasion of prosperity and family togetherness. These three destinations and their diversity will truly make your celebration special and memorable.