Diwali or Deepavali is a grand festival of Hindus and celebrated with zeal and excitement all over India. However, when it comes to luxury and opulence associated with the festival, northern India certainly deserves a distinct mention. It is the day when ladies enhance their beauties with ornament and garments while children get an official license from families to exercise their naughtiest skills. Their zeal and excitement matches the sparks and sounds of the crackers that find many admirers around the city, especially old Jaipur. This is a festival that finds many admirers irrespective of age, gender and social status.
The festival is celebrated for 5 days. Here are the details of Jaipur Diwali
It is a trend to clean the house very well for celebrating the festival. The festival is associated with the Goddess of Wealth Goddess Laxmi. It is believed that the Goddess visit the house on Diwali. So it is a trend to keep the house cleaned so that the Goddess can enter the house. People clean up their houses very well: right from old cobwebs to junk items that are haunting the store room for several years. This cleaning exercise also helps to strengthen the family bonds. These are the few days when the men of the house, ladies and even small children work together to clean the house. Even the old people suffering from joint pain and weakness assume a strange form and work laboriously to clean the house. The light conversations and jokes that follow the process work wonders to heal the effects of communication gap.
Dedicated to the God of Wealth, Dhanteras is regarded as the most auspicious day to buy gold or silver. In fact it is a tradition to buy gold and silver ornaments on this day. The people, who cannot afford to buy the coins, use to buy utensils. In the evening small clay lamps are lighted in front of the God. It is believed that buying gold, silver and utensils on Dhanteras invite prosperity to the family. In the night after worshipping, entire family and neighbors enjoy sumptuous meals and home prepared sweetmeats.
In simple words, choti diwali is the "trailer" of main festival. It is the eve of Diwali. The legend says that in ancient times Narakasura stole the earrings of Mother Goddess called Aditi and also kidnapped thousands of Gods' daughters. As many as 16000 daughters were kidnapped by Narakasura . So with the help of Lord Krishna who is regarded as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Satyabhama killed “Narakasura”. Lord Krishna married all those beautiful 16000 daughters and Mother Aditi got her earring back. The mother of Narakasura declared that the day should not be grieved but celebrated. From that day onwards Choti diwali is celebrated to mark the end of Narakasura. On this day the small urchins act as harbinger of the main festival. One can hear the noise of crackers in every nook and corner of the street. Houses wear beautiful necklaces of lighted clay pots. Sweets, the integral part of celebration are prepared and consumed in large quantities. It is also the day when people buy new apparels for Diwali.
The main festival arrives with a bang. Right from the morning one knows that the day is really special. People are seen in their best attire. The beauty of ladies is glorified with traditional jewelry and even the men of the house look their best wearing traditional turbans, bracelets, chains and Rajasthan attire. Though people prefer to wear traditional attire, some modern people also tend to wear safari suits and latest trousers. Small kids bloom as fresh flowers and their excitement begins from the wee hours of morning.
Ladies start preparing sumptuous meal from the morning. Right from sweetmeats to hot snack, you will find a wide spectrum of delicacies being prepared in the kitchen. The house is decorated in colorful furnishings and entrances are bedecked with beautiful Bandhanwars or decorative ribbons and garlands to accentuate the frames. The golden sparks of crackers present a riot of luxury in the black night. Teenagers are followed by youth. The ladies of the house are busy preparing various dishes. There is an auspicious time for worshipping. There are many elaborated yet joyful rituals involved and each caste has several individual rituals to follow. Once the worship is over the ladies distribute festival sweets made with Indian jaggery or sugar. These sweets are a great delicacy and enjoying with the whole family further enhances its taste.
Then the real riot begins. The men, women young and old unite to celebrate the festival. Whole atmosphere on earth as well as sky seem highly welcoming with the colorful crackers spreading light and brightness. Small children generally prefer to enjoy loudest sounds while aged people love to indulge in bright crackers without sound.
Diwali is followed by Govardhan Puja and Bhai Dooj. Govardhan Puja celebrates the incidence when Lord Krishna had lifted up the mighty mountain of Govardhan to save his villagers from heavy rainfall while Bhaidooj is a festival of brothers and sisters.