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Diwali Customs and Traditions

Diwali is a festival which is replete with customs and traditions. The lure of Diwali comes from the elaborate customs and tradition it is steeped in. The traditions and customs draw inspiration from legends which have been handed down over the centuries.

The observance of these customs and traditions is only for our own satisfaction. While it is certain that the celebration of festivals does help bring good vibrations and spirituality home, the observance of traditions is something that most people do only for their own sense of satisfaction. However, they are very important, since they help teach the children about the importance of the festival, and also help give them a religious orientation.

Most children love to indulge is every religious following. They must be encouraged to participate, since every observance then becomes more compelling and involves everyone equally.

Diwali Customs

Apart from the enthused atmosphere and exuberance that Diwali is known for, this is really a festival which is rooted in prayer. Goddess Laxmi is the central deity, and earnest pleas are made for longevity and prosperity. This is also a time to reminisce about legends which drive home the cardinal truths of the triumph of good, the import of benevolence, and the virtue of forgiveness. Apart from the deities, any means of generating wealth is also offered prayer. These may include offices, machinery, cattle, and all metals, including gold and silver.

Diwali is normally a time when everyone engages in indulgent shopping. Apart from what is bought for the members, the family also purchases something propitious for the house. Depending on their choices, and also the financial position in the house, people usually select items which fit their needs, taste and budgets. The affluent may make it a point to buy some gold or jewellery at this time, while others purchase grains, utensils or a little silver. People abroad often send Diwali Gifts to India.

Diwali Traditions

There are plenty of traditions that go into the making of Diwali. The first is to clean the house completely, and give it a fresh coat of paint. It is customary to buy new clothes for members, and tapestry, linen and artefacts are also bought. Here are some important Diwali traditions:

Tradition of Lamps :
Rows of resplendent lamps adorn doorways, windows and passages. Lamps made from clay are the traditional variety, although candles, electric lamps and large lanterns have also become a part of Diwali celebrations today. Children also derive great pleasure out of making their own candles and diyas using paints, clay and other decorations.

Tradition of Decoration :
 Diwali decorations are extremely attractive. Ethnic motifs are painstakingly made using flowers, pulses, coloured rice, and even coloured powder called rangoli. These are natural ways to adorn homes and also double up as auspicious symbols that are used generously in prayer rooms. There are several forms of decorations. There are the elaborate arrangements made on the floors and temple, there are the bright hangings or torans which welcome you at the doorway, and also centrepieces which can be found around the house.

Tradition of Exchanging Diwali Gifts :
 This is the most loved part of Diwali – the tradition to give and receive gifts. Most popular Diwali  Gift Hampers include sweets and dry fruits, aromatic candles and diyas, crockery and even silverware. People living away from relatives even send Diwali Gifts to India. More than the gift itself, it is the love and spirit of Diwali that brings a smile to every face.

Tradition of Sharing:
This is not very common in all homes, but more and more people are making this an important feature of Diwali. They encourage children and other members to share with friends and family. This could include the Diwali gifts and sweets, and also crackers. Many others make visits to the temple to help the children understand the offerings that are made on the day. They also teach the children to share with the underprivileged and help make the joy of Diwali available to everyone.

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