10 Things You Should Know About Deepavali Because It's So Much More Than Just Oil Lamps
1. Deepavali is NOT the Hindu New Year
The Hindu New Year actually falls in April :)
2. The festival actually symbolises the triumph of light over darkness and literally means "rows of lamps"
This is why Deepavali is also referred to as 'The Festival of Lights'. Most households will light the outside of their homes or businesses with little oil lamps, signifying victory of light over darkness, or good over evil.
3. Shopping for new clothes and outfits before Deepavali is a must. Out with the old, in with the new!
It's also suuuuper stressful when you're in the 10th store, trying on the 100th outfit, and it's still. Not. Right!
4. Cleaning and decorating is also super important, so don't play-play ok? Later Amma angry.
Families spend days spring cleaning and decorating their homes in preparation for Deepavali. Marigold garlands bring good luck and mango leaves in doorways help soak up bad thoughts (so don't membawang about your relatives ok!)
5. If you're a newlywed, Deepavali is extra "booms"!
Thalai Deepavali is a unique Indian custom whereby newlyweds celebrate their first Deepavali as a married couple with the bride's family. It is also customary for the family to pamper the new couple and shower them with gifts (yaaaassss...)
6. In olden days, kolams were drawn in coarse rice flour, as an invitation to ants, birds, and other small creatures to eat it, thus welcoming other beings into the home and everyday life (i.e. not to decorate shopping malls lol)
The decorative pattern made using rice flour, known as Kolam or Rangoli, is an act of charity encouraged in Hindu scriptures. They are drawn to welcome Lakshmi, the Goddess of Prosperity, while driving away the evil spirits. Oooh... #themoreyouknow!
7. Traditionally, elders give clothes to family members after a morning oil bath is taken on Deepavali Day
The oil bath symbolically removes all evil and dirt, and those who perform it will be blessed with prosperity and wealth.
8. Everyone who celebrates Deepavali knows that it's really another reason to makan with friends and family
Apart from temple visits and getting blessings from elders, it’s a time for family reunions. Where everyone’s fave ritual is binge-watching Tamil movies... cause you know, we all love a little drama.
9. It's a time to look forward to all the Indian sweets that are mainly milk-based and ghee-based because they are just so sedaaaaap
Sweet treats include laadu (a yellow ball of sweet minced dough), jalebi (wirly orange strings of flour coated with syrup), achu murukku (sweet murukku), and kesari (semolina pudding).
10. TBH food is the best part of every Deepavali!
Traditionally on Deepavali Day, Hindus observe vegetarianism and abstain from anything intoxicating. But every family has their own food traditions.
Top hits tend to be mutton varuval, mutton parattal, mutton kolombu, mutton cutlet, mutton, mutton, mutton... can you even name them all?