Festival of Diwali and the revelry in Punjab
Punjab means five rivers in the literal sense. The state is synonymous with prosperity, cheerfulness and an exuberance which is hard to miss. The lively people of Punjab cannot be left behind in the festivities of Diwali. Gaiety and merriment is so innate to Punjab that it is only natural that you expect something unique about the Diwali celebrations in Punjab. Diwali mithai and Diwali gifts almost define the festival. People spruce up for the festivities well before time and decide the kind of Diwali presents they would buy for family and friends.
Diwali is celebrated with much enthusiasm in the state of Punjab. People start preparing for the festival well in advance. Homes and surroundings are cleaned and decorated. Rich and delectable sweets are prepared for the puja and the merriment that follows. Traditional motifs of rangoli are seen at the entrance. Goddess Laxmi is welcomed into each and every house.
For the natives of Punjab this day is all the more auspicious, as Guru Hargobindji was released from the Gwalior prison on the Diwali day. Earthen lamps or diyas are lit in the courtyard and the entrance. The golden temple at Amritsar wears a festive look with illumination. Traditional lamps of all colors festoon the temple. The reflection of the illuminated temple looks spectacular. Fireworks by professionals follow and this takes you to the bygone era.
That is not all. The day after Diwali is celebrated as 'Tikka'. Winter crops are sown during Diwali time and this day is dedicated to the crop and the expected yield. It also signifies the brother sister bond. On this day sisters place a saffron 'tilak' on the brother’s forehead to ward off all evil. This ceremony is akin to 'Bahi Dooj' celebrated in the rest of India. Bhai Dooj gifts are also a vital part of the celebrations.
Diwali sweets and Diwali gifts are indispensable to Diwali. Sending Diwali gifts to India is customary during this widely celebrated festival. Family living abroad avail the online shopping option to gift relatives in India. Of late presenting Diwali gift hampers to relatives friends and business associates is also very much in vogue.
Though the element of Diwali is the same across India, the significance and approach to the festival is distinct. This variance is the essence of the cultural diversity which is innate to India. Diwali is one such festival which epitomizes this in an extravagant manner.