Top 10 Diwali

Diwali, Divali, Dipawali, Deepavali 

is on Friday 5th November, 2012 and will be celebrated all over India and Nepal. Divali is a harvest festival and is the most polular festival in the Subcontinent. It is also known as a the 'festival of lights.' Expect many Pujas, fire crackers and lamps to be lit. Divali is celebrated for five days, but will last longer. The five days: 

  • Vasu Baras (cow day) Cows are decorated.
  • Dhanteras, God of weath and prosperity. Gold and silver decoration of the home.
  • Naraka Chaturdashi, pre Divali party.
  • Lakshmi Puja on Diwali. Biggest day Lakshmi Puja, puja for wealth and prosperity. Key is to light lamps,
  • Padwa & Govardhan Puja, food preperaton
  • Bhai Dooj, brother sister gifts and puja

Dussehra (Durga Puja)

is on Sunday Cotober 17, 2014, is to celebrate the Ramayana the return of Rama, King of Ayodhya, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana to Ayodhya after a 14 year exile, and a war in which he killed Ravana.

Navratri starts on October 8th, 2014

As a tourist you can expect this festival to last until November 7th, 2014 or a whole month. Many Indian will travel during this time and take holidays so you should be warning of the massive onslaught of Punjabis (Punjo's affectionately called)  or Bongs/Bungies (Bengalis.) So the question every North India tourist may as  is:

Where to spend Divali?

1. Kullu Valley.  Anywhere in the Himalayas will have a strong tradition of animal sacrifice. Thousands of goats and buffalo will be sacrificed to the gods.  So any number of villages in the area will bee fascinating to visit. By October or November it will be cold too effectively keeping out the usual mass of tourists.

2. Nepal. Kathmandu, Pokhara and mountain villages. In Nepal the festival is known as Tihar (Dashin) and is celebrated with some differences. The five days in Nepal are Ox, cow and water buffalo day, Dog Day, Crow Day, Brother Sister Puja, and Big Tihar Dashin lamp puja lighting. Near by Kathmandu is the Kali temple and you can see some memorable animal beheadings.  Card playing and gambling is very much part of Nepali tradition.  Children will play 'bhailow" a sort of trick or treat game involving singing traditional songs.

3. Goa. A good time to visit Goa, you can avoid the crowds in the North of India. Many Indian will also vacation at this time however

4. Varanasi. Holy of the wholly. A classic spot to experience the festival.

5. Rishikesh. The ganga, butter lamps, one thousand ashrams, almost perfect.

6. Kali Puja in West Bengal, Calcutta and Hill Stations.

7. Maduri, south India Divali is celebrated with a different feeling. 

  • Morning: Early morning bathing, cleansing with sesame oil is applied. New cloths and a few fire crackers and bangers and your good to go.
  • Lehiyan: Something they drink?
  • Murukku: Family puja with dosas.
  • Wish fulfillment: Make wish and pray to the Gods.
  • Evening: Many butter lamps are lite, watch out them crackers will blow!

8. Mount Girnar in Gujarat, Jain Divali, From 705AD, "The gods illuminated Pavanagari with lamps to commiserate the Holy day. Since that time, the people of Bharat celebrate the famous festival of "Dipalika" to worship Lord Mahavira on the occasion of his enlightenment"

Thousand of Jain will flock here.

9.  Amristar, Punjab. Sikis have their own history, Divali is about their struggle for freedom and the release from prison of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, in 1619.  Bandi Chhorh Diwas" or "the day of release of detainees"

10.  New Delhi or Jaipur. celebrated with much exuberance. But watch out if your hair catches fire from fire works. Find a nice roof top and keep away from anything flammable.

Diwali Firework Warning

Every year people are hurt during this time a year due to fire crackers. Try not wear anything flamable, try to stay off of the street etc.

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+1 # Ali 2009-09-06 20:06
Thanks very helpful!!
+1 # Krithika 2009-09-16 08:35
Murukku is a deep fried rice flour snack :-) NOT a family puja with dosas

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