Diwali or Deepavali, famously called as the festival of lights. As the name suggests, it is a festival that lights up our surrounding, physically and emotionally. Though people in various parts of India, have different meanings and celebrate in different ways, nevertheless, it is always a grand.
In Tamilnadu, Deepavali festival marks the death of the demon,’Naragasuran’. It is told that at the moment of death, Naragasuran realised his mistakes and requested Lord Krishna to let people celebrate his death as the victory of good over evil. It is his last wish that we celebrate as ‘Diwali’.
On the day of Diwali, everybody at home wakes up early in the morning. The eldest woman in the family applies warm sesame oil on the head and then applies ‘nalangu’ – a paste of turmeric and wet lime, on the feet of the other women in the family. We are supposed to take bath in hot water and use ‘shikakkai’ – traditional herbal hair care powder which was originally used as shampoo. This holy bath is called the “Ganga Snanam”, equivalent to taking bath in the river ‘Ganges’.
Immediately after the Ganga snan, we wear new clothes and get blessings from elders. We then have to taste the sweets, savouries and the ‘diwali legiyam’ – a homemade medicine to protect the stomach from any indigestion due to feasting that occurs later that day. Visiting the temple and distributing of sweets goes without saying.
Diwali is never complete without crackers. As soon as the ganga snan and the tasting of sweets are over, the fire work starts and goes on even till night. The excitement and the enthusiasm is never ending.