2024 India Diwali - Festival of Light Travel Guide

Festival of Light, also known as Diwali, is one of India's most highly regarded festivals. It is a festival of enchanting lights, grand celebrations, and a lively festive atmosphere, symbolizing the victory of light over darkness, so people celebrate their houses with lighted lamps. If you want to experience Diwali in India, here is what you need to know.

Diwali is a word formed from the Sanskrit word "Dipavali", which means the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa), representing the ultimate triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. According to the historical time, it is most likely related to the historical harvest festival, which the ancient Indians celebrated. There are several different stories about the origin of Diwali. 

Some believe that the Festival of Lights is associated with one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu, King Rama. Rama bravely defeated and killed the evil king Ravana to save his wife, Sita. When they returned to the capital, people lit numerous lights to celebrate their safe return and welcomed them home. This is how the lighting of lights became an essential way for Hindus to celebrate Diwali.

Others want to worship Lakshmi, the Indian goddess of wealth. It is said that Lakshmi comes to the world on this day, and whichever house she sees there will receive a fortune. Therefore, people light up their homes with lights and want Lakshmi's favor.

Clay Lamp of DiwaliClay Lamp of Diwali

The 15th day of the Hindu calendar month of Kartik, also known as the day of Amavasya, marks the beginning of Diwali, the Festival of Light. Typically, it takes place during the months of October and November.

In 2024, Diwali will be celebrated on October 29 throughout the whole nation. And the celebration will last for 5 days.

Many religions in India celebrate Diwali for different historical reasons and ways. But they share the same theme of justice, peace, and happiness. It is a beautiful coalescence of cultures, and you can see different religions and regions celebrating this day in the same festive atmosphere.

Hindus celebrate Diwali to celebrate the victory of good over evil and to invoke Goddess Lakshmi to bring them good luck.

For Jains, this festival honors the founder Mahavira, whose body died but whose soul lives on. It also involves the lighting of lamps and prayers to Lakshmi.

For Sikhs, this holiday celebrates the release of Sikhs' spiritual leader, Harbinder, from captivity by Jatihan, the emperor of the Mughal Empire of India. Sikhs have a tradition of bathing in holy water at the Amritsa shrine during the festival.

For some Buddhists, it is the celebration of commemorating Ashoka's decision to practice Buddhism and maintain peace.

Indian Little KidsEverybody Can Enjoy Diwali

Diwali activities typically include cleaning, shopping for festive items, preparing food gifts, lighting, and performing sacrificial rituals.

Cleaning

People clean on the first day of Diwali because the house is considered clean to attract the goddess Lakshmi. Only if your home looks clean will the goddess Lakshmi like their house and give them blessings. Buying gold, silver, and jewelry at this time is also a popular custom.

Shopping

Diwali is an important festival in India. Before the festival begins, people will buy things needed for the festival and new clothes to celebrate the festival with a new look. Diwali is also an excellent day to visit relatives and friends. People give gifts to each other on this day.

Beautiful SareeBeautiful Saree

Sweets and Gifts

Festival of Light requires a variety of Indian delicacies and sweets, which can be served as snacks for guests. It is traditional to exchange gifts during Diwali. People give gifts and exchange feelings with relatives and friends during this time. The gift of sweets is indispensable during Diwali, including snacks such as sweets, gold coins, idols, costumes, and other gifts with Indian characteristics.

Rangoli

Rangoli is a decorative folk art from India created during celebrations in front of house entrances, inside houses, or on the ground in courtyards. The main purpose is to welcome Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) into homes, ward off evil eyes, and bring good luck.

House Decoration with Lights in DiwaliHouse Decoration With Lights in Diwali

Ceremonies

Setting off fireworks and holding the "Lakshmi puja" ceremony are also important activities of Festival of Light, which are meant to drive away evil and pray for the goddess's protection. Both ceremonies are usually held on the third day of Diwali. During the Lakshmi puja ceremony, people recite the Puja in their mouths and offer flowers and tributes to the goddess, and conclude by singing Aarti, a song celebrating the grace and power of the gods.

Delhi

To experience the atmosphere of light festival and feel the real Indian culture, visiting the capital city of Delhi is an ideal choice. With bustling Mela bazaars, carnivals, fireworks displays, series of theatrical productions, concerts, and dances, all will draw you into a vibrant vibe and atmosphere. Besides, you can experience the Diwali activities and prayer rituals up close by, meet real Indian families, and taste the special food on offer during the Festival of Light.

Varanasi

Varanasi is a Hindu holy place and a famous historical city. When the Festival of Light arrives, the beauty here may be much more strikes you than usual. Enjoy a boat trip on the Ganges at sunset, seeing people chant reverently with a view to divine favor along the riverbank. Have a blast in the crowded bazaars, where you can buy everything from local handicrafts to delicious sweets. The celebrations are capped off with an impressive fireworks show. So, remember to choose a high-rise hotel near the riverbank where you can enjoy the fireworks up close.

If you remain for a little longer, you can spend the unique festival of Varanasi, which takes place 15 days after Diwali. Dev Deepavali, also known as the "Diwali of the Gods". The steps of all the ghats on the riverfront of the Ganges River are lit with more than a million clay lamps in honor of the Ganga River and its presiding goddess. 

VaranasiVaranasi

Jaipur

Jaipur is one of the best places to see the festive atmosphere. The houses and bazaars of Jaipur are decorated with lanterns and beautiful decorations, which are very ornamental. You can enjoy the beauty of the whole city during Diwali from Jaipur's famous scenic spot Nahargarh Fort. Capture the reflections of the glittering Jal Mahal and pyrotechnics in the stunning Man Sagar Lake. Moreover, the city bazaars are always bustling with musicians singing traditional tunes and a wide variety of handcrafted lamps and other items. Here, you can also feast your taste buds on some authentic Rajasthani cuisines and buy some unique souvenirs and handicrafts.

Amritsar

Amritsar is a Sikh city that also celebrates Diwali devoutly. The Golden Temple in Amritsar is a famous attraction in the city. The sight of the Golden Temple surrounded by lanterns during Diwali is spectacular and very ornamental. During Diwali, pilgrims will hold a big celebration at night. Of course, you can enjoy the beautiful fireworks display in Amritsar or join the pilgrims in meditation and prayer.

Amritsar Golden TempleAmritsar Golden Temple

1. If you are planning to travel to India during the Festival of Light, please make reservations several months in advance as many tourists from worldwide will be rushing into India.
2. When setting off firecrackers, be sure to pay attention to personal safety and follow the instructions carefully. And note if fireworks are allowed in the areas.
3. Don't place lights in dangerous environments to avoid injury.
4. Avoid wearing anything made of synthetic materials and stick to cotton instead since synthetic can catch fire very easily.
5. If you want to take pictures of the praying people or some religious ceremonies held in temples, you should always ask for permission first.

Take part in this significant cultural event in India, and you'll be sure to leave with memories of some spectacular celebrations unlike anything you have seen. If you are interested in taking an India tour to experience Diwali, contact us to customize your trip!

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