Diwali, also known as Deepawali, a festival of lights is the largest festival of India. The name is derived from the Sanskrit term dipavali, meaning “row of lights.” The festival generally symbolizes the victory of light over darkness. The festival usually lasts five days and is celebrated during the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika. It’s time for some delicious sweets and dazzling the home with some extraordinary Diwali decorations. Homes are decorated, and floors inside and out are covered with rangoli, consisting of elaborate designs made of colored rice, sand, or flower petals. Diya’s symbolize goodness and purity, and lighting them denotes dispelling darkness and going into light.
Significance of 5 Days of Diwali
Diwali begins with the first day known as ‘Dhanteras’ or the worship of wealth. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on this day and there is a custom to purchase something precious. People clean and decorate their homes.
The second day, called Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali, commemorates Krishna’s destruction of Narakasura; prayers are also offered for the souls of ancestors.
The third day is the main Diwali festival. Lakshmi Puja is performed on this day. Goddess Lakshmi is believed to enter homes and bless people with good fortune. Tiny oil diyas, candles and electric lights are placed around the house. Families exchange gifts and gather together to burst crackers.
The fourth day, known as Goverdhan Puja, Balipratipada, or Annakut, commemorating Krishna’s defeat of Indra, the king of the gods, is also the first day of Karttika and the start of the new year in the Vikrama (Hindu) calendar. Merchants perform religious ceremonies and open new account books.
The fifth and last day is Bhai Dooj. On this day sisters invite their brothers for a lavish meal and perform a ‘tilak’ ceremony. Sisters pray for their brother’s long and happy life while the brothers give gifts to their sisters.
Easy House Cleaning tips for Diwali
To help you with cleaning, here are some easy Diwali house cleaning hacks and tips. Have a look at these DIY Diwali cleaning ideas.
- Get your cleaning materials, equipment and tools ready. Some of the essentials that you may need include a normal broom, brooms with sticks, house ladder, cleansers, duster, glassware cleaner, vacuum cleaner, cotton cloth or fibre, warm water, baking soda, vinegar and dishwashing soap.
- Start with your least favourite areas and things which will stay clean for at least a couple of weeks.
- This is one of the best times of the year to get rid of the unwanted items. Follow the one-year rule – anything which you haven’t used in the past year won’t find its use in the future as well. You can also spread some festive cheer by donating unwanted items to orphanages and shelters.
- Clean the floors effectively with floor cleaners. Cleaning the tiles and especially the in-between gaps and lines can be a nightmare. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to get the consistency of toothpaste. Dip an old toothbrush it in the paste, and scrub the tiles.
- Clean out glass lamps and candleholders using warm water and detergents to get rid of other stains from candleholder. Dry the glassware by turning them upside down on tissue paper or cloth to let the water drain away.
- Clean your wardrobe & rearrange your clothes. Change the paper or cloth of the shelves. Fold all of the clothes properly and arrange them in good order. Make separate compartments in the wardrobe, you can install drawers here, and use up the blank spaces on the doors of the wardrobe.
- Having two different sets of curtains can ease up your task, as you can replace the dirty curtains with the fresh ones. Wash all your pillowcases, bed sheets, kitchen towels, bed-covers, and other linens in a stain remover mixed with fabric softener. It will tidy your linens and drapes keeping them smell-free.
Diwali Decoration Ideas
Decorating the house for Diwali is a family affair which brings everyone together in good spirits to start energizing the house with positive vibes.
- Paper Lampshades
Paper lampshades are a novel oriental way of decorating the house on Diwali. They are an easy buy and available in amazing patterns and colors. Besides, the different sizes they come in lend you the option of decorating the house in any way you desire.
- Use ‘Genda Phool’ for decoration
These flowers are also called the “herb of the sun” and the its fragrance helps improve your mood and ward off stress. You can use them in the rangoli makings and torans for the door. You can also have an arrangement on your dining tables where the sweets and namkeens will be put out.
- Rangoli – Keep it small & simple
You have the option of making the Rangoli both with colors and flowers. You can further jazz up your Diwali Rangolis by combining it with beautifully crafted diyas.
- Bangle Lampshades
Glue multiple colors of bangles one over the other to build gorgeous lampshades for Diwali lights. Glass bangles are always best to make lampshades as they can resist heat. These are easy to make and can be reused as many times as you want in the future. Every year I love to try these beautiful DIY Diwali decorations at home.
- Use flower on your curtain tie backs
Again, so simple and so pretty. Pull back your curtains onto the side and pin flowers on the tie-backs. You can choose the color of the flower depending on the color of your drapes.
- Hand-painted diyas
Diwali isn’t Diwali without diyas, and make it special by painting your own! Buy plain diyas, and get acrylic paints to decorate them. You can also use sequins and beads. Play around with various patterns and colors; the more the better
- Diwali Torans
Diwali torans or wall hangings are not only decorative pieces but also auspicious elements for the season. You can use Ganesha wall hangings or make torans from recycled items and create that authentic Diwali charm.
- Fruit Candles
This might sound unusual but yes, an exciting idea as this does exist. Cut the fruit peels in beautiful shapes and place tiny fragrant candles inside them for a perfect decoration of home this Diwali.
- Simple & Attractive Wall Hangers
To build bangle wall hangers you have to glue the bangles together to create a circular shape. Now tie it all up with colorful satin ribbons and put them up on walls, ceilings or doorways to perk up the rooms. You can also simply tie them up with ribbons and decorate your rooms with them. You can add color to the lights by covering the tea light holders with crepe papers or gift papers. They are easy to do and give a nice view when lighted at night.
- Utilize Glass Bottles and Fairy Lights for Plush Diwali Decoration
Different colored bottles of wine or even other alcoholic drinks like beer and whiskey can be used for increasing the liveliness of your Diwali. Fill the colorful bottles with bright fairy lights and place them together in the nooks and corners of your house for a glowing and energetic Diwali look.