Diwali, the festival of lights ,is celebrated all over the world by the Hindus with pomp and glory.The traditional festivals have an important part to play in our lives as they give us moments to remember ,rejoice,forget sorrows, build new hopes and motivation to carry on.
The Diwali word derives from the word deepawali as the festival is associated with decorating one’s home and surroundings with clay lamps called “deep” or “diyas”.The festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil,darkness over light.In Hindu mythology the festival was first celebrated when Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana.The festival consists of 5 days and each day has a unique significance.
1st Day :Dhanteras
Dhanteras word is a combination of two words “Dhan” meaning wealth and “tera” meaning 13 in Hindi signifying the 13th day of Krishna paksha or dark lunar fort-night. It is considered auspicious to buy gold/silver on this day.It is also the birthday of Goddess Lakshmi and in Indian mythology on this day the goddess appeared from the bottom of the sea with “amrita” ,the divine potion which can give immortality.Hence rangoli (beautiful designs ) are drawn outside the door on the floor to welcome the Goddess to our homes.
2nd day :Narak chaturdashi or Bhoot chaturdashi
The word “chaturdashi” means 14th day of Krishna paksha .On this day according to Hindu mythology Lord Krishna killed Narakasura ,a demon.Bengali communities call it “Bhoot chaturdashi” ,”bhoot” meaning ghosts and they light 14 clay lamps on 14 different directions of the house in honour of the 14 forefathers ,to keep themeselves safe from the evil spirits .As it is the day before amavasya(new moon),the night is dark due to the absense of moonlight and evil spirits are considered very active on this night.It is also a custom to consume a vegetable consisting of 14 herbs.Hence this day is called “chouddo saag”(14 herbs) and “chouddo pradeep”(14 lamps) among the Bengali.
3rd Day: diwali/Kali Puja
This is the day when Lakshmi puja is performed ,the home and the buildings are decorated with lights,clay lamps ,paper lanterns etc.People buy new clothes ,throw get-togethers,greet each others,share gifts etc.In Bengal ,Kali puja is performed at mid night on “Amabasya” or new moon .There is a ritual to scrifice animals as offerings to the Goddess.
4th Day:pratipada (Day 4)
On this day devotees perform Goverdhan puja in honor of Lord Krishna.Goverdhan is the name of a Hill in Mathura-Vrindavan where Lord Krishna spent his childhood (according to mythology).The hill had protected the villagers from thunder storm and heavy rainfall when Lord Indra,the God of rain was furious with them as they were worshipping Goverdhan Hill instead of Lord Indra.
5th day: Bhai Duj, Bhaiya Dooji or Bhai phota(Day 5)
The last day of the festival is called Bhai dooj which celebrates the sister- brother bonding , where sister invites the brother in her home and gives him a treat and pray for his well being and long life.She ,performs a ritual applies a chandan tika on his forehead and chants a poem.It is a great time to cherish where the siblings and family members living in distant places can come together and enjoy the festivity.
The festival graces various sweet and savory treats.
15 best diwali recipes to make at home
Traditional Sweet treats
This is a humble dessert which graces all the festivals and occasions in India.India is a vast country where the language and dialect changes every 100 km.So this dish changes its name and flavor in various regions of India .In Western part of India it is known as Basundi,in South India it is called payasam,in North India it is called kheer and East India ,payesh and in other parts of the world it
is popularly known as rice pudding.Traditionally in Bengal aromatic rice called “gobindo bhog” is used.You can also use saffron and dried fruits to enhance the flavors.
These are rich sweets ,extremely healthy as they are made of dates which are rich in iron and minerals.They are cooked in little jaggery with coconut.They are healthy as refined sugar is not used and diabetic friendly.The cashewnuts add a royal touch to this sweet.
Patishapta is a type of “pitha” which is a scrumptious bengali sweet dish common in India and Bangladesh prepared primarily during the rice harvesting festivals.These are sweet pancakes which contains a sweet filling of caramelized coconut but here I have used carrot and thickened milk for the filling.
Dahi vadas are a North Indian snack which is popular in all parts of India.Lentil fritters are fried and dipped in yoghurt sauce and then tempered with spicy coriander chutney and sweet and sour tamarind chutney.try adding ice cream on top of the dahi vadas and enjoy these ice creamy vadas.
A gorgeous halwa which will adored by everyone and guess what! you don’t even have to stir the “Halwa”, every thing taken care in microwave.
Another sweet balls prepared with semolina and coconut can be packed as gift or served in the Diwali party or can be offered to God.
Malpua is a popular Indian sweet dish prepared during festivals.This preparation is little rare variety which is made with semolina.Unlike the other types of malpuas which are flat ,this one is fluffy and soft.This preparation is made in some parts of interior Bengal.
Gujiya is a snacks prepared in Western and Southern parts of India .It is a moon shaped pastry dough stuffed with sweet or spicy fillings and then baked or deep fried.The sweet gujiyas are sometimes dipped in thick sugar syrup in some states of India.
Gond Ke laddo
These are sweet balls loaded with love and binded with a natural glue called “gond”.These are crispy and nutty in texture and require much less clarified butter and sugar for the binding and hence healthy for your body.You can have these whole wheat treats without the feeling of guilt.
These are pretty white balls with gorgeous red filling made out of white chocolates.
Chocolate fudge is a dessert which is similar to chocolate but is softer and has a
These crunchy chocolate truffles prepared with dark chocolate and roasted rice flakes , healthy and super crispy.
The word “Padma” in the name of the dish means Lotus as the shape of this savory resembles a lotus flower.But you can give any shape to this dish with any cutter available.Lotus also has special significance in Diwali as the Goddess of Lakshmi is worshiped during this festival.Goddess Lakshmi is the God of wealth ,prosperity and food and she holds lotus in her hand which symbolizes beauty and purity.
This recipe makes crispy balls stuffed with spicy lentils. With a bite, the ball cracks in the mouth releasing a blast of flavors.
This is one popular Indian snacks which can bring life to any festival.In Bengal we add the filling of cauliflower and potatoes.