Diwali is one of the most widely celebrated Hindu festivals in India and around the world. The rituals and customs associated with celebrating Diwali vary based on the regional traditions of India and the cultural customs that are popular in those areas. However, most families light diyas or candles in their homes and celebrate this special holiday by enjoying sweets and delicious food. Generally, Diwali is celebrated over five days with each day holding a special significance.
Day 1: Dhanteras
On this day, many dedicate their worship to Goddess Lakshmi. People will clean the house, make rangolis or kolam (colored patterns made on the floor with flowers, powder, rice or sand), go shopping, and make sweet and savory Indian treats.
Day 2: Chhoti Diwali, Kalichaudas
This day is referred to as small Diwali and people will decorate their homes with rangoli, and clay lamps are displayed.
Day 3: Diwali
People dress in new clothes, visit the temple to perform a puja (a worship service) for Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh, light diyas around the house, keep all the lights on, eat delicious food and sweets, and enjoy fireworks celebrations with family and friends.
Day 4: Annakut, Padwa, Govardhan Puja
This is the first day of the new year for many regions and people celebrate by exchanging gifts and best wishes. Many will take time to be grateful for all of what they have and to share with others.
Day 5: Bhai Duj, Bhai Bheej
This day is dedicated as a siblings day to honor sister-brother bonds. It is common for all siblings to get together on this day. Brothers will visit their sisters and enjoy a nice meal together.