One of the most important holidays for Hindu is a five day festival called Diwali: The Festival of Lights. Spiritually, it signifies the victory of light over dark, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. The first night, Dhanteras, kicks off the festival with new clothes, houses being cleaned, and laying of traditional floor decorations. The second day is Narak Chaturdasi, and includes henna hand tattoos, prayers, food preparation, and more decorating. On the third day of the festival, Diwali night, people put out candles in windows and doorways to welcome the goddess Lakshimi, who represents wealth and prosperity and is believed to roam the earth on this night. The festival also includes more prayers, fireworks, feasts, and exchanging of gifts. If you’re throwing a Diwali Party, we’ve got some ways to make it great!
As mentioned above, lights are a huge part of decorating for Diwali. It’s the Festival of Lights, after all. The traditional candle is called a diya, and is an oil lamp made from clay with a cotton wick. You can also use traditional jar candles, tea lights, glass oil lamps, twinkle lights, or other decorative lighting instead.
Another traditional type of decoration is rangoli, which are elaborate patterns made on the floor with colored flour or powder, or kolam which are made of flower petals. They are placed near the entrance of the home to welcome the goddess Lakshimi and guests.
Food and Drink
Diwali is all about the fried sweets! And there are plenty of them to choose from. Try serving some traditional desserts!
Gulab Jamun: Fried dough rolled in chilled sugar syrup.
Jalebi: Fried wheat flour, twisted into pretzel or swirl shapes, and dipped in sugar syrup. It’s also dyed orange with food coloring.
Laddu: A ball-shaped dessert that’s made from flour and sugar, dyed with orange or yellow food coloring.
Kheer: A South Asian version of rice pudding, made with milk, sugar, and toppings like almonds or cashews.
Karanji: A dough pastry filled with coconut or sugar and fruit.
Dress For Diwali
Diwali is all about “dressing for excess” in order to give thanks to Lakshimi for your good fortune. To stick with tradition, everyone should be dressed in new, brightly-colored, and elaborate costumes like saris or robes. Also, don’t hesitate to pile on the jewelry, with gold and silver being preferable.
Decorate your hands and feet with henna. Traditions state that body art is to be treated as a blessing that lights up the soul. Having a Henna Tattoo Artist on-hand will keep everyone looking festive with elaborate designs that will last for a few days after the party ends.
The final touch on a fabulous Diwali celebration is entertainment. Fireworks are a huge staple, so pass out sparklers to your guests, or set up a show to top off the evening.
Take the party a step further by bringing in Bollywood Dancers or Belly Dancers to entertain the guests with an upbeat performance, or hire a Choreographer to teach everyone some traditional dance steps. Looking for some traditional music? Have a Sitar Player to add some ambiance.
The spirit of Diwali is celebrating good fortune, so gather your closest loved ones and throw a party they’ll never forget!