Countdown to Diwali

Countdown to Diwali November 13, 2012

With Diwali only days away your Auntyji wants to make sure you are ready for the festivities. Big or small, there are a few basic things that you could do for the celebration of Diwali.

1) Visit your local Indian grocer and pick up diyas (oil candles). If that is not possible, tea lights or any candles will be fine. In addition to diyas or candles, decorate your house with lights to invite the Goddess Lakshmi.

2) This is a time for “Indian spring cleaning” in other words “out with the old and in with the new.” Clean your home by discarding any unwanted items and buy something new that needs replacing or that you have wanted to buy for a long time. This might be a good time to get rid of that old bedspread and buy a new one!

3) If you are planning a Diwali party this year, the weekend of November 9, 10, 11 is ideal. You may want to have an extravagant dinner or simply have family and friends over to share a meal.

Traditionally on Diwali people gather to play teen pathi (card game). Playing cards is a very popular past time during Diwali, especially in the urban centers of India. Gambling during Diwali stems from the Hindu belief that while the Goddess Parvati played dice with her husband, Shiva, she declared anyone who played that night would prosper through the entire year. It is also said that the Hindu Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi, ensures her goodwill and will smiles upon the player. Teen Pathi (Flash) or Rummy are the main card games played.

4) Attend a local community event. There are many musical and cultural events around most cities.

5) The day before Diwali or the morning of buy or make your favourite sweets to give as gifts to family and friends.

6) On the day of Diwali, visit your local gurdwara or mandir to receive blessings and light a candle. Fireworks are are big part of the celebration, so buy some to use on Diwali night. Check your city by-laws to make sure they are allowed.

7) If you have young children you may want to share the celebration with their classmates. They can explain the meaning of Diwali and share treats with their classmates.

May Lakshmi find her way to you!

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