Five Places In India Where You Can Experience Unique Diwali Celebrations

The festival of Diwali is not only about lighting earthen lamps and bursting crackers. Here we list five unique Diwali celebrations in India you need to experience
Diwali is not only about lighting earthen lamps and bursting crackers. Credit Shutterstock
Diwali is not only about lighting earthen lamps and bursting crackers. Credit Shutterstock

Diwali is around the corner, and we all are getting geared up for it. Symbolizing the spiritual victory of light over darkness and good over evil, Diwali is a celebration of the day Rama returned to Ayodhya with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana after defeating the demon Ravana in Lanka and serving fourteen years of exile. However, in addition to the traditional festivities, there are a lot of unique and exciting Diwali traditions in India that you need to experience. Here's a look at the five of them.

West Bengal Kali Puja
Diwali in West Bengal coincides with Kali Puja or Shyama Puja, which takes place at night. People offer Goddess Kali fish, meat, sweets, lentils, rice and hibiscus flowers on this day. Also, a day before the Kali Puja, Bengalis follow the Bhoot Chaturdashi ritual to keep evil powers at bay by lighting up fourteen diyas (earthen lamps) at home.

Odisha Kaunriya Kathi
One of India's most culturally diverse states, Odisha, also celebrates Diwali differently. During Kaunriya Kathi, the people of Odisha burn jute sticks to invite their ancestors, who are said to descend from heaven on Diwali. The burning of jute sticks is often accompanied by a prayer, "Badabadua Ho Andhaare Aasa, Aalua Re Jao (Ancestors, come in darkness and go back along the lighted path)."

Punjab Bandi Chhor Divas
Bandi Chhor Divas is a Sikh celebration that commemorates the day Guru Hargobind rescued 52 kings from Gwalior Fort, whom Mughal Emperor Jahangir had detained. The day falls in autumn and often coincides with Diwali. It is marked by the lighting of homes and Gurdwaras, celebratory marches and langar (community kitchen).

Varanasi Dev Deepawali

Dev Deepawali, or the Diwali of Gods, is observed widely in Varanasi. It is believed that gods and goddesses come down to take a dip in the holy Ganges during this time. Temples in Varanasi are decorated with earthen lamps and rangolis. The ritual takes place on the full moon of the Kartika month and fifteen days after Diwali.

Goa Celebrating Lord Krishna
During Diwali, locals in Goa celebrate God Krishna, who beat the demon Narkasur. During the festival, it's common to witness enormous busts of this demon on the streets, some of which are ignited with fireworks to signify light prevailing over darkness. Sweets and food are distributed, and locals adorn their houses with lights and make colourful designs on the floor.

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