Finding the Light in Darkness
Diwali is about opening gifts, sharing mithai sweets, dressing up and placing diya lamps along our walkway so that Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, could find her way to our home on the night of the new moon.
Diwali is all about the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. With our public health crisis which has disrupted our lives beyond recognition, caused so much disappointment, and wrought an incomprehensible number of deaths in our communities, we ask ourselves, can light be found in all of this darkness?
Family celebrations will look different. There will be no large gatherings and no swapping of sweets with loved ones. But that does not mean we cannot let the light of Diwali into our hearts and homes.
Our team came up with some ways for you to celebrate Diwali safely at home this year.
1. Decorate the Indoors
With no doubt it is considered unsafe to go outdoors in large crowds to party and light some fireworks, so you may be looking for some way to pass time indoors. A good way to do this is to do some decorating!
To celebrate the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi Mata, draw some footprints around the house that symbolizes her own. You can do this easily by printing out outlines of feet, cutting them out and taping them with painter’s tape on the floor around your house. Alternatively, you can use rangoli powder to draw out temporary footprints out on your floors.
Another way to decorate your house is to do rangoli with rangoli powder. During the second day of Diwali, it is common for Hindus to create colourful patterns on floors using coloured powder known as rangoli. Just a simple Google image search of the words “rangoli designs” is enough to be inspired by the many artists of the world, in order for you to create your own rangoli design.
This next decoration is definitely no surprise - light some candles and diyas! Being the festival of light, Diwali is known around the world for lighting up candles and diyas around the home, most notably at the doorway. This is done to let the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi Mata know that she is welcome to your home. In addition to candles and diyas, you may also want to put up some Christmas lights around your home for a little extra pizazz!
2. Spend Time With Family
During this pandemic, feelings of isolation have become common, especially because you are not able to see your friends as often you did prior to the pandemic. To fight these feelings of isolation, spend time with family members that live in your home. As for other friends and far distant family, give them a phone or video call. Let them know that you keep them in mind during this auspicious occasion.
3. Clean Up
Diwali is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts, so why not give your home a little clean? It could be as simple as your daily sweeping the floors or washing all the dishes piled up in the sink. Alternatively, you can do some paperwork that you have been leaving behind for a while, do some laundry or dust off the bookshelf. By cleaning around the house, you will give yourself and your family a fresh start to the Hindu New Year.
4. Make Some Homemade Snacks
No Diwali celebrations are complete without some tasty snacks and appetizers. Research some new and healthy recipes and test out your culinary skills with your family members. Gather in the kitchen and indulge in your new sweet and savoury treats.
Diwali is a time of new beginnings and our celebrations are limited due to a pandemic, but it does not have to stop them completely! There are many ways to come together and enjoy this festival of lights.
From all of us at India Sajawat & Puja Hut we would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Diwali.