Diwali in Delhi
Visualize a city lighting up in every nook and corner; not a dot of darkness to be found anywhere at any point of time and the sky brightening up with brilliant lights and colourful fireworks. Hard to believe it could happen, right? It happens in Delhi every year on Diwali.
One cannot miss Diwali if travelling to this part of the country in mid-October (the date tends to vary every year). It is worth delaying your stay to experience this festival with all its excitement and fervour. It is not just about one day as the preparations start a month in advance with houses getting redecorated, thoroughly cleaned and whitewashed, people shopping for new outfits, gifts, sweets and what not.
Diwali is a celebration of victory of 'good over evil'. According to the Hindu mythology, when Lord Rama rescued Goddess Sita by defeating Lord Ravana and returned to his homeland after his 14 years of exile, the whole city welcomed him by lighting up Diyas (clay oil lamps) all across. Therefore, every house and every building till date is lit up with Diyas, candles and colourful bulbs all over the country let alone Delhi.
How the Festival is Celebrated
The festival is of utmost importance, especially to children. Their energy and joy reaches whole new levels. Fireworks rule all night long. Giving and receiving gifts from/to friends and family is looked forward to by everyone and beautiful and elaborate Rangolis (intricate designs made with powdered colours) adorn the doorsteps of people’s homes. The families get together and worship Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity) and as a tradition, they keep the door to their house open for the goddess to enter and bless them.
In case, you happen to not know anyone in the city, there is no need to worry. There are a number of places one can go to and enjoy the celebrations and festivities in all its glory.
Where in Delhi
Numerous Diwali Melas (fairs/carnivals) take place all across the major gathering points, e.g. colonies, clubs, parks, etc. in the city. Delhi Haat organizes a Diwali Utsav (a special event) every year with special stalls selling decorative items for Diwali, idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi, specially designed Thaalis (large plates) for Diwali as well as ethnic outfits. You can enjoy the amazing street food and the enriching culture as you shop till you drop.
Then there is Epicentre in Gurgaon that holds a Ramlila performance (short theatrical enactment of the story of Lord Rama and his victory.) which is entertaining and gripping. Here you can enjoy the delicious feast, the beautiful fireworks and various performances.
A much sought-after 7-day event is organized by the name of Blind School Mela. You get overwhelmed with the choice of merchandise available at the various stalls set up by the vendors. What makes this Mela even more special are the stalls selling handmade Diyas and candles by the blind school children.
Dilli Haat | Aurobindo Marg, Dilli Haat, INA Colony, New Delhi
Epicentre | Apparal House, Sector 44, Vasant Kunj, Gurgaon, Haryana
Blind School | Lodhi Road, Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, New Delhi
The young and happening people of Delhi throw various card and poker parties in their homes, months in advance, celebrating the coming of the Delhi's winters and the Diwali spirit. There is a Diwali card party practically every weekend up until Diwali which is celebrated at one house or the other. You can see many people throwing house parties with food, drinks and dance accompanied by lots of poker.
Hence, do visit Delhi around this time to experience the city at its best, get entwined with the culture and experience Diwali “Delhi style” and don’t forget to wish a 'Happy Diwali' to anyone and everyone you interact with.