Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is one of India’s most vibrant and cherished festivals. Popularly dubbed the “Festival of Lights,” this festive extravaganza symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. Diwali is a celebration with a history spanning over two millennia. Its origins can be traced back to ancient Indian civilization when it was celebrated as a harvest festival, marking the summer crop’s abundance and the arrival of autumn. As time passed, Diwali evolved, incorporating various myths, legends, and regional traditions, becoming a multifaceted and widely celebrated festival.In this blog, we’ll take you on a journey through the significance, traditions, and ways to celebrate Diwali.
The significance of this event shines through in various ways, here are some examples below of why it is such a special moment to celebrate.
- Victory of Light: It’s all about conquering darkness with light. Diwali signifies the triumph of knowledge and wisdom over ignorance and the vanquishing of negativity.
- Religious Roots: Hindus celebrate Diwali as Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya after defeating the demon king Ravana. For Jains, it marks Lord Mahavira’s nirvana, while Sikhs commemorate Guru Hargobind Ji’s release from imprisonment.
- Lakshmi Puja: Diwali is synonymous with the worship of Goddess Lakshmi, the harbinger of wealth and prosperity. People tidy up their homes and light lamps to welcome her blessings.
Diwali Traditions and Celebrations
Diwali is a joyful and lively festival, with various traditions some of which are showed below:
- Cleaning and Decoration: Homes come alive with colorful rangoli, clay diyas, and vibrant lights after a thorough cleaning.
- Worship: Families come together for prayer (puja) and pay respects to deities, particularly Goddess Lakshmi. Temples are adorned, and rituals are performed.
- Feasting: Diwali means indulging in a delectable spread of sweets and savory dishes to share with friends and family.
- Exchanging Gifts: Gift-giving is a tradition, spreading love and goodwill among loved ones.
- Fireworks and Crackers: The night sky dazzles with fireworks, symbolizing the victory of light. Eco-friendly celebrations are essential to protect the environment.
Healthy Diwali Snacks
Elevate your Diwali celebration with these beautifully presented, low-sugar, and healthy snacks:
What is it: “Baked Samosas” are a healthier version of the classic Indian snack, typically filled with spiced potatoes and peas, but baked instead of deep-fried for a lower-fat alternative.
Ingredients: Whole wheat pastry sheets – Filling: Potatoes, peas, and spices
Method: Fill each pastry sheet with the prepared potato and pea mixture. Then seal and shape the samosas and bake until they turn golden brown for a healthier, baked alternative to traditional fried samosas.
What is it: Quinoa Kheer involves cooking nutritious quinoa with milk to create a delicious dessert. It is similar in texture and flavor to the traditional Indian rice pudding known as “Kheer.”
Ingredients: Quinoa, Milk or almond milk, Any Toppings
Method: To start you need to simmer the quinoa and milk mixture until it thickens to a creamy and nutritious kheer.
Baked Namak Pare:
What is it: Furthermore, ‘Baked Namak Pare’ represents whole wheat savory crackers, a traditional Indian delight, made healthier by baking instead of frying.
Ingredients: Whole wheat flour and Spices and herbs for flavor
Method: Roll out the dough and cut it into the desired shapes. Then bake the namak pare until they turn crisp and golden, offering a healthier, baked version of this classic snack.
Special Diwali Seed Mix:
Ingredients: pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds and Preferred spices
Method: Roast the seed mix with your choice of spices for a protein-rich and satisfying snack. You can find some other Seed Recipes here.
Vegetable Sticks with Hummus:
Ingredients: Fresh carrot, cucumber, and bell pepper sticks and Homemade hummus
Method: Savor the crispness of fresh vegetable sticks served with homemade hummus, creating a nutrient-packed and low-sugar snack.
Diwali isn’t just a festival; it’s a celebration of unity, diversity, and the eternal light within. It reminds us of the importance of good deeds, knowledge, and the victory of light. As you light diyas and join with loved ones during this festival, may the light of kindness, compassion, and joy continue to brighten your lives. Happy Diwali!