Diwali: A Magical Time to Celebrate with Loved Ones
For Indians the world over, Diwali is a Festival of Lights - colorful lamps and brightly lit diyas, sweets, fire crackers and a lot of fun with our families. And not only that - Diwali also brings back countless memories from our childhood: memories which are tucked in a corner of our hearts and suddenly erupt during this time of the year. And we always want to relive them - even after so many years. It’s pretty natural to be nostalgic during festivals like Diwali.
My favourite and most awaited festival is here! Do you agree that Diwali is a magical time to celebrate with loved ones? Is this a festival that makes you nostalgic and reminds your childhood days?
For Indians the world over, Diwali is a Festival of Lights - colorful lamps, brightly lit diyas, sweets, fire crackers and a lot of fun with our families. And not only that - Diwali also brings back countless memories from our childhood: memories which are tucked in a corner of our hearts and suddenly erupt during this time of the year. We always want to relive them - even after so many years. It’s pretty natural to be nostalgic during festivals like Diwali.
Sure, the way of celebration has changed over the years for me, the essence has always remained the same and so has the memories. Today, I would like to share some unforgettable memories of my childhood that are still close to my heart.
House paintings and cleaning
This is a common tradition that every family follows. It is believed that it brings more wealth and prosperity. When we were kids we enjoyed that part too. Whatever the reason - who doesn’t like a clean and shiny house! Cleaning every part of the house was a must before this festival.
Shopping for firecrackers and new clothes
We used to go with my mother to shop for clay toys along with sweets, diyas, and crackers. Markets were full of stalls selling clay toys, diyas, sweets, and crackers those days. I can still remember buying kitchen sets, and dolls made out of clay and then happily playing with them.
Lighting diyas and candles around the house
We used to lit diyas and candles starting from Dhanteras (2 days before Diwali) and continued until Diwali day. I especially remember putting one diya under the Tulsi (Holy Basil) plant first and then decorating the whole house with diyas and candles.
When we were kids, we used to make a small rangoli with flowers in front of our Pooja room. Sometimes we used to make rangoli in our schools too.
Decorating our classrooms before the Diwali holidays
Before our Diwali holidays, we used to draw diyas, firecrackers, and rangoli with chalk on the classroom blackboard along with happy Diwali messages in Hindi or English.
Lighting firecrackers the day before and on the day of Diwali
Diwali meant firecrackers for us - all kinds of it. Pooja was always followed by lighting firecrackers with family and our neighbours.
Distributing sweets to neighbours
I still remember going to every house in our neighbourhood to give sweets.
Before lighting firecrackers, we as a family used to do Laxmi and Ganesha pooja. I remember chanting mantras after our parents while they performed Aarti.
How can we forget the food prepared on this day? In our house, on Diwali, apart from other delicacies, sooran (elephant foot yam) or jimikand dish was a must. In some parts of north India, especially in eastern UP, it is considered auspicious to eat jimikand on Diwali.
Applying kohl in eyes on the Diwali night
I am not sure about the reason behind this ritual, but before going to bed, my mother used to apply kohl in our eyes. We kind of grew up listening to stories that if we don’t apply kohl in our eyes on Diwali night, we will turn into chachundar (Asian house shrew). And no wonder we believed that story as kids.
Diwali memories make me nostalgic and emotional every year. No matter, which part of the world we are living in, or how grown up we are, our childhood memories will always hold a special place in our hearts.
A festival full of sweet childhood memories, a sky full of fireworks, mouth full of sweets, the house full of diyas and heart full of joy.