With their soft colourful petals and lingering fragrance, flowers bring a graceful brilliance to the festivities. As their yellow and orange colours symbolise purity, sunflowers, carnations and marigolds are popular flowers used in Deepavali decorations. For worship and prayer, roses, jasmine and lotus are usually used.
During visits, families and friends often exchange gifts to share joy and wish each other a prosperous year. They include sweet treats like halwa and paalgova, as well as savoury ones like murukku. Once the meal commences, everyone tucks into the bright red, orange and yellow hues of essential dishes like nasi biryani, butter chicken and dahl, relishing the spicy flurry of ginger, chili and tumeric they bring. It’s a real feast for the senses!
Visit a household celebrating Deepavali and you’ll be immediately embraced by the warm amber glow of the oil lamps. In Sanskrit, Deepavali means "rows of lighted lamps". Oil lamps called diyas are put in different places of the house during the festival. The lighting of the lamps symbolises the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance.
The radiant colours and styles of Deepavali fashion are a big highlight of the festivities. Women don beautiful sarees and salwar kameezes, while men wear handsome kurtas and dhotis. Be it Deepavali or the New Year, everyone avoids inauspicious colours like black and white. Wearing bright new clothes is a festive must!