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Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is one of the most important holidays for the Hindu, Jain, Sikhs, and Buddhist communities. During the five-day festival, people celebrate the victory of good over evil and light overcoming the darkness.
People all over the world celebrate the holiday in various ways like lighting diyas, decorating their homes, cooking delicious food, and giving back to others.
Light Diyas, Sparklers, or Fireworks
The lighting of diyas signifies light overcoming the darkness, triumph of good over evil, and wisdom over ignorance. The diya is traditionally a clay lamp made with ghee and cotton stick. The diya represents goodness and purity. You can purchase a diya at your local South Asian store, Amazon, or choose to light a candle instead. If you have older kids, you can light sparklers in your yard, or attend a community firework show.
Rangolis are decorative sand displays you make to decorate your home for Diwali. This is great artistic activity to do with your kids outside on your porch, sidewalk, or driveway. You draw a design on the concrete with chalk and fill in the design with different color sand.
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After you finish, you can put a diya in the middle and light it. The designs can be as simple or complex depending on your expertise. If you are new to making rangolis, here is a video on how to make rangolis. My favorite rangolis to make with my family are Om rangolis.
Eat Delicious Food and Sweets or Cook Your Favorite Foods
There are so many great Indian restaurants and bakeries around the metroplex to enjoy authentic Diwali food this holiday. Eating traditional Diwali treats like milk barfi and aloo chakli, can be made at home or purchased at the store to share with family and friends. Since one of the main principles of the holiday is spreading joy with family and friends, you can celebrate Diwali with any of your favorite meals.
Read Stories About the Festival and the Legend of Lord Ram and Sita
As a Hindu mother, the most important part of Diwali for me is sharing the spiritual meaning of the holiday with my children. My children are under five years old, so the best way for my husband and me to share this knowledge with them is by reading books and telling stories. Some of my favorite books about Diwali include:
- Amma, Tell Me About Diwali by Bhakti Mathur
- Archie Celebrates Diwali by Mitali Banerjee Ruths
- Diwali, The Festival of Lights by Nick Sharma
- Five Days of Diwali by Dev Vishwas
- Let’s Celebrate Diwali by Anjali Joshi
- Shubh Diwali by Chitra Soundar
- The Diwali Gift by Shweta Chopra
- The Story of Diwali: Rama & Sita by Jay Anika
Celebrate at Local Events and at a Local Mandir
If you are looking to celebrate the holiday with a local religious community, you can attend one of the events at the local temple or mandir. Here in Dallas that could be at North Texas Hindu Mandir and DFW Hindu Temple. Most religious institutions will celebrate all five days of the holiday and some will only celebrate on Diwali day.
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Buy New Clothes and Decorate Your Home
Buying new clothes for Diwali celebrations is a fun way to celebrate the holiday no matter where you are on the globe celebrating. You can visit your nearest South Asian clothing store or check or the latest styles on Amazon. You can decorate your home with diyas, rangolis, paper lanterns, and elaborate feasts.
Spend Time with Family
Diwali is a day to spend time with family and to spread happiness and positivity. How you celebrate can be unique to each family and community. In India, you can watch festive fireworks. In Guyana, you can watch various beautiful, elaborate parades to celebrate the holiday. Here in the DFW metroplex, we have various activities you can participate in. If you prefer to stay at home, you can watch Bollywood films that are Diwali favorites such as Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, or Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India.
Attend Diwali Mela in Dallas at Fair Park
Dallas is home to thousands of families who celebrate Diwali. One of the biggest celebrations in the state happens on November 4 from 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. in Fair Park. There will be a fireworks shows, cultural program, Ram Leela, delicious foods, and rides for the entire family. Tickets start at $12.
There is also Diwali Mela in Parker County.