One of the most festive and beautiful times of the year is Diwali time!
The lights, crackers, sweets, happy & festive vibes, love & togetherness – all aid in making it one of the most joyous and alluring festivals in India as well as across the world.
But what is the true meaning of Diwali? Why is it celebrated?
Some believe that Diwali signifies the marriage of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu; a few others believe that it commemorates the return of Lord Rama, Goddess Sita & Lord Laxman to the kingdom after a 14-year exile; some celebrate the birth of Goddess Laxmi; the rest dedicate it to Lord Ganesh & Goddess Durga. The reasons are myriad.
The bottom line is that Diwali marks the celebration of triumph of good over evil, of new beginnings, of illumination of light in the dark.
Knowing this, why are we still trapped in the same old definition of Diwali that it is just a festival of lights, crackers, sweets, togetherness, family & friends?
The world is progressing at a rate faster than we can catch up with. Technologies are changing at the blink of an eye; currency rates are as dynamic as they can ever get; luxury & lifestyle are consuming a different dimension altogether; liberalism & democracy are achieving newer & higher heights than ever before!
Then why not change the definitions & ways of celebrating the festivals?
So, here are 6 Ways to celebrate DIWALI WITH A DIFFERENCE:
1. Organise a Collection/Donation Camp
There are roughly 1.77million people in India who are homeless-the ones who don’t have even the basic necessities to live a life. They are humans just like us, however, with a little less fortune and luck.
We all agree that there are many old/un-used things in our house which we want to discard, but we’ve been delaying it because we don’t know how and where to do it.
It is said that we must give back to the world. And what simpler way could there be than giving away our unwanted things to the needy for whom the same things would be so precious!
Needless to say, Diwali time is perfect for this activity as almost all houses take up deep cleaning during this time of the year!
2. Plant a creeper instead of light string
This year, you can plan to go green! You may plant a creeper instead of the light string, plant a sapling instead of diya, plant more trees in your society instead of bursting crackers, and the options are endless.
3. Switch to healthy delicacies
Instead of eating Diwali sweets & savouries, switching over to healthy delicacies wouldn’t be a bad idea. Make oats chivda/mixture, ragi laddoos, sweets made of jaggery, baked rice flour gluten-free chakli/spirals & dry fruit barfi, to name a few.
4. Treat animals/pets with care
While we, humans, enjoy the festival of lights, there’s another part of our society which lives in fear and anxiety during this same festival. Our celebrations cause great trauma, harm and damage to the pets and stray animals & birds living in the vicinity (sometimes leading to death)! This isn’t fair!
This year, do spare a thought for the animals and the birds that are as much a part of this society as we are. Create awareness among the people around you. Treat your pet with utmost care during the festival. Pamper them with their favourite food & accessories. Play music at home to offset the outside noise and to soothe your pet.
5. Arrange family get-togethers & parties
It’s time to revive the old traditions. Instead of wishing everyone on social media, wishing family and friends in person is way more gratifying & contentful. It gives a more personal touch to the festivities and creates stronger bond and memories for lifetime.
6. Visit an orphanage or old-age home
True happiness comes only by making others happy. – David O’Mackay
Meeting someone who is hungry for love is an effort worth making.
The innocent smiles on the kids or the elderly people will not just illuminate their day, but will also bring in peace and tranquility in your mind. Also, what goes around, comes around. If you do good, good will happen to you!
There could be more innovative ways of celebrating Diwali, but these are a few ways I could think of.
The light of Diwali is, in reality, a symbol of radiance, divinity and knowledge. This Diwali, let’s turn inward and ignite the light within us. Let’s make the journey of moving away from physical awareness, & moving towards emotional and spiritual awareness.
Let’s understand and implement the true meaning of Diwali.
Let’s spread true light.
Let’s spread true festive vibes.