One more Diwali/Deepavali is coming and knocking on our doors. Yes this festival of lights is coming on this Novermber 2nd 2013. It is celebrated as triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and even the illumination of the soul and attainment of higher knowledge. Legend is that Lord Rama defeated the 10 head demon King Ravana and also brings back his wife Seetha who was kidnapped by Ravana to his kingdom Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. People welcomed them with lot lights lit on their way. According to another legend, this festival is a celebration of the victory of Lord Krishna over Narakasura and bring back joy to people who suffered under the rule of Narakasura.
Diwali /deepavali is celebrated with lots of fun and enthusiasm not only India, but also in Nepal, Malaysia, Singapore, Caribbean and Fiji. Diwali not only celebrated by Hindu, but also to Jain and Sikh people with a different perspective. Even though in my home state of Kerala, Deepavali is not a big celebration, but because of my Tamil roots we always celebrated with lot of fun. New dress, fire crackers, sweets, savory and grand breakfast was a must. Appa will buy new dresses and fire crackers, where as mom would cooks sweets and savories. Mysorepak, Okkarai, mixture and pakoda were a must in our house, some time we will also have Boli. Early morning that is around 4 A.M mom will wake us and there will be an oil bath (meaning we apply oil in our hair, before bath). After bath we wear new clothes and lit fire crackers. Then we will have a breakfast with idly, mulagapodi and all the goodies, amma made for diwali. Once the breakfast is over we will go to temple and do prayers.
Also during Deepavali days there will be new movies that are released, and there are a lot of programs on TV if you want to celebrate Deepavali at home without going out. Basically enjoy the whole day with food and fun.Deepavali is celebrated all over in India in different ways,in villages the rangolis are drawn on top of fresh cow dung. Also lighting the oil lamps is tradition during diwali. The purpose of the rangoli and oil lamps is to welcome guests and to encourage the Goddess Lakshmi inside. During Diwali it is common to set off fire crackers as the noise is believed to hearald the defeat of evil and to catch the attention of the Gods.
In Northern India, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar and the surrounding areas huge dummy of Ravana are burned symbolizing Lord Rama’s victory the demon king along with fire crackers, sweets, savories and lights.
In Eastern India, oil lamps, candles and lanterns are lit and placed in rows around individual homes. Crackers are burst, sparklers lighted and gifts and sweetmeats distributed by people across the state. Most of the houses are brightly lit and the doors and windows kept open to welcome Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) , who is supposed to visit every home during this time and ignores all places that are kept dark and abandoned.
In West Bengal, they worship Goddess Kali during the Deepavali, and it is unique one. In Western India diwali is a four-day festival, the preparations for which begin at least 15 days in advance read from here . In Southern India, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Deepavali is celebrated with great enthusiasm, with rangoli and kolu bommai. In Karnataka it is celebrated as a three day affair with the belief that King Bali visit everybody’s home during that them Read from here
Here is my collection of sweet and savory recipes.
Parippu vada/ Lentil fritters
Mysore pak: Chickpea flour fudge