Diwali in Madhya Pradesh - Celebrating Diwali in the Heart of India - Diwali 2013 India: Diwali Festival, Diwali Celebrations India, Deepavali History

Madhya Pradesh, located in the heart of India, is known for its glorious past. Ruled by a line of great empires, the state has gone through various cultural assimilation and adaptation. This has given the state a typical character that is found in no other state in India. The fun loving tribes, the exotic landscape, the historic monuments, the colorful festivals have all contributed in making the place a much sought after destination.

Among all the festivals, Diwali is one of the most important in this State. The festive season in this State begins days before Diwali, when people go for Diwali shopping that includes new apparels, fireworks, traditional and modern lights, among many others. Houses are cleaned and whitewashed long before the actual Diwali celebration. And just after Dussehra, before a few days to Diwali is the time for sweets and snack preparation for diwali.

The 5 day long Diwali celebrations in Madhya Pradesh begins with Dhanteras. On this day, the people of the state specially the business community buy gold and silver jewelry, which they believe bring wealth and prosperity throughout the year. Shops usually remain open till mid night for late night shoppers and market places remain aglow with brightly lit colorful electric bulbs.

The second day is Choti Diwali or Roop Chaturdarshi. On this day, Diwali is celebrated on a smaller scale, with fewer lights lit and fewer crackers burst. The morning after Choti Diwali, the women of the house make beautiful, colored rangoli in the doorway and courtyard. Tiny footprints made out of rice paste are a special feature of the rangolis made for Diwali. Some families in Madhya Pradesh this day as Roop Chaturdashi, wherein the men folk of the house take bath early in the morning with specially prepared oil and body mask.

The third day is the actual Diwali day, when people light traditional lamps all around their houses and burst firecrackers and play with fireworks. Diwali gifts and sweets are an integral part of celebrations of this day. Both young and the old alike create kaleidoscopic designs against the black canvas of the sky with specially made firecrackers. Diwali is also the time for dancing to the tunes of folk music, among the tribes of this State. The Baiga and Gond tribes specially perform their traditional dances to celebrate the Diwali Festival.

The fourth day is Goverdhan Puja, which celebrates Lord Krishna's heroic feat of lifting the huge Goverdhan Mountain to save the people of his village from the onslaught of rainstorm. The womenfolk in some of the household observe this festival by worshiping cow dung replicas of the fabled mountain, and decorating it with flower petals.

The concluding day of Diwali is celebrated as Bhaidooj, the happy occasion sanctifying brother-sister bond. On this day sisters, specially married ones visit their parents place and put tikkas on their brothers’ forehead for a long life. Brothers in their turn pamper sisters with gifts and sweets.

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