India’s culture is among the world’s oldest and most diverse, coming to the foreground during its biggest festival of the year. Diwali is a celebration of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance however, the legends associated with the festival vary across different parts of India. Have a read of our tips for making the most of the festivities.
1) For the authentic experience, stay at an Indian home stay to take part in the traditional Diwali family rituals such as, filling little clay lamps with oil and a wick before then lighting them in rows over the house. People usually wear new clothes for Diwali, so go on treat yourself to some traditional Indian wear such as a silk kurta for the men or a beautiful sari for the women, and join in with the festivities!
2) Jaipur, known as the “Pink City”, is a great stop to enjoy the spectacular view of the illuminated markets and buildings. The competition is fierce each year and I certainly wouldn’t want to have the responsibility of deciding the winner with each building as spectacular as the next.
3) In Goa attention is focused on the destruction of the demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna and there is a competition held to determine who has created the scariest demon. The sheer size of these demons make for an impressive sight worth seeing.
4) Gamble and play cards! Hopefully you are a master of the poker face as playing cards is a popular pastime during Diwali. It is thought that the goddess of wealth smiles upon the players, spreading her goodwill.
5) For all the foodies make sure to try some of the treats that circulate around this time of the year including, Sohan papdi, Besan Barfi and Mawa Kachori that are all deliciously sweet and fragrant. Your best bet for trying one of these is at the numerous fairs that take place around India’s cities.
6) Of course the celebrations would not be complete without a wonderful display of fireworks and what better way to see them than over the Ganges river or even as a backdrop to the breathtaking Taj Mahal in Agra.