DIWALI - FESTIVAL OF LIGHT - INDIA
Date :Sunday, 2013 November 3
Venue : All Over India
Country : India
Category : Fair & Festivals In India
Deepwali (Diwali) Tour to India - 2013 [ November 3]
The festival of lamps, Diwali, is an ancient tradition that is celebrated through the length and breadth of India in one manner or another. The festival has been celebrated for ages and grows in fascination by the year. Everyone enjoys the goodies, the glitter and glamour, and the endless zest for living that suddenly grips people around this time. Nevertheless, there is much more to Diwali than feasting and merrymaking. Diwali is a hallowed tradition, not to be put in the shade by the lights.
Diwali is one of the biggest festival of Hindus, celebrated with great enthusiasm and happiness in India. The festival is celebrated for five continuous days, where the third days is celebrated as the main Diwali festival or 'Festival of lights'. Different colorful varieties of fireworks are always associated with this festival. On this auspicious day, people light up diyas and candles all around their house. They perform Laxmi Puja in the evening and seek divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth. The festival od Diwali is never complete without exchange of gifts. People present diwali gifts to all near and dear ones.
Boom, Bang, Vroom!! the noise of crackers all night long, the bursting sparklers creating patterns of myriad hues in the sky and the thousands of lighted diyas (lamps) adding to the bonhomie of this festival of lights-that's Diwali.
Known as the "Festival of Lights", Diwali is considered to be the most popular and the most pan-Indian of all the Hindu festivals. Although Diwali symbolizes different things to different communities and regions in India, what is common to all is the theme of victory, of good over evil. Diwali also stands for the renewal of life as it announces the approaching winter and the beginning of the sowing season. Of all the festivals celebrated in India, Diwali is by far the most glamorous and one that is enthusiastically enjoyed by people of every religion in India as well as the Indian communities settled overseas.
Diwali symbolizes the victory of light over darkness. Celebrated joyously all over the country, it is also a festival of wealth and prosperity.
Legends Behind Diwali
The legends behind the festival are as varied as the manner of its celebration, but common to all of them is the theme of the triumph of good over evil. One such legend, the most popular one, is about a demon named Narkasura who managed to acquire such awesome powers that he began to terrorize the three worlds; his defeat and death at the hands of Krishna is celebrated as Diwali, and the day preceding the new moon in the months of Ashwin-Kartik in the Hindu calendar is known as Naraka Chaturdasi.
Another legend followed in Karnataka is that of an emperor named Bali who had become all-powerful and a threat to the peace of the universe. God is said to have come to earth in the form of a diminutive Brahmin, Vamana, and presenting himself before the mighty Bali asked for "as much land as three of my footsteps would cover." No king could refuse a Brahmin's appeal for charity, and Bali readily granted what seemed to him a trifling request. Whereupon the diminutive Brahmin resumed his all-pervasive, omnipresent form and, covering the heavens with one foot and the world below with another, asked where he should place his foot for the third step. Bali bowed before him and offered his own head for him to place his foot on, and was pressed underfoot. This victory is observed on the day of the new moon (Amavasya) when the month of Ashwin (October-November) makes way for Kartik.
For the people in north India, the festival commemorates the joyous return of Rama to his kingdom of Ayodhya, after 14 years of exile in the forests. For the business community, particularly in the western regions of Gujarat and upper India, Diwali is a festival devoted to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. In fact, the new accounting year begins with Diwali and the tradition is still followed by opening new accounting ledgers on this festive day.
Traditionally on Diwali night, Ganesh shares the altar with Lakshmi. Ganesh is the god of good beginnings and the fabled remover of obstacles. In the Hindu pantheon, the two are unrelated, Ganesh being the son of Shiva and Parvati. However, between them, placed side by side, Lakshmi and Ganesh hold out promise of a year of fulfillment, free from want. Since cow's milk is food for the gods, Lakshmi is said to be partial to laddoos made from thickened cow's milk, rock sugar and powdered cardamom. On the night of Diwali, these form an offering choice.
Diwali is supposed to be a corruption of the word Deepavali, the literal meaning of which in Sanskrit is 'a row of lamps.' Filling little clay lamps with oil and wick and lighting them in rows all over the house is a tradition that is popular in most regions of the country. In the north, most communities observe the custom of lighting lamps. However, in the south, the custom of lighting baked earthen lamps is not so much part of this festival as it is of the Karthikai celebrations a fortnight later. The lights signify a welcome to prosperity in the form of Lakshmi, and the fireworks are supposed to scare away evil spirits.
For the grown-ups, there is also a custom of indulging in gambling during Diwali. It is all in fun, though, in a spirit of light-hearted revelry, and merrymaking. In north India, people celebrate Choti Diwali and Bari Diwali (literally, small Diwali and big Diwali) on successive days, and exchange trays of sweets. Diwali is a time for shopping, whether for gifts or for adding durable items to one's own household. The market soars-everything from saffron to silver and spices to silks. Yet, symbolic purchases are to be made as part of tradition during Diwali.
Diwali is a truly national festival that literally puts a sparkle into each and every home, whether it is a palatial mansion or a poor man's hut. Only a family in mourning lets Diwali go by without sweets and lights. Although Diwali is celebrated for two days, the celebrations actually stretch over nearly five days. For that matter, Diwali begins to herald itself 10 days earlier, with the deafening sounds of crackers burst as "appetizers" by impatient youngsters unable to wait till the actual day! More than any other festival, Diwali is an occasion for children-from the youngest toddler looking on with fascination while older siblings hold sparklers in their hands, to the daredevil adolescents who get a thrill out of lighting the fuse of ear-splitting bombs with their bare hands, or letting off "rockets" on broomsticks, just as their fuses ignite to lift them into the sky like space rockets leaving a trail of flame behind.
In Punjab, the day following Diwali is known as tikka when sisters make a paste with saffron and rice and place an auspicious mark on their brother's foreheads as a symbolic gesture to ward off all harm. Likewise, on the second day of the month of Kartik, the people of Maharashtra exchange gifts. In Maharashtra, it is the thirteenth day of Ashwin, the trayodasi, that is observed as a festival commemorating a young prince whom Yama, the God of Death, had claimed four days after his marriage. Filled, however, with compassion for the luckless youth, the legend goes, Yama promised that those who observed the day would be spared untimely death-and so the lamps that are lit to mark the festival are placed facing south, unlike on other festive days, because south is the direction mythologically assigned to Yama.
For the Bengali and Oriya communities in the east, Diwali means Kali puja (worship of Kali, the aggressive manifestation of Shakti or the all-powerful female force). There are in fact legends that trace Diwali observances to the entire Asian belt including Thailand and China.
Diwali Tour Itinerary
We invite you to experience the most exotic Deepawali vacations in India. To be a part of the festival such as Deepwali is a lifetime experience. The best time to visit India for this exclusive occasion is October/November.
Diwali tour to India lets you explore the cultural trends in India. During the festival you will see lit up streets, crowded markets, lot of fireworks, people in good mood etc. So what you waiting for - Come celebrate this Diwali with a concord experience.
The festival of Diwali begins with Dussehra. While other main events of this festival are as follows : -
Day 1 - Dhanteras Day 2 - Chhoti Diwali, Roop Chaturdashi Day 3 - Laxmi Pujan, Bandi Chhor Diwas Day 4 - Goverdhan Puja, Annakoot Day 5 - Bhai Dooj
Tour Package for Diwali
Duration : - 8 Days
Destinations Covered : - Delhi - Ayodhya - Agra - Jaipur - Mumbai
Day 1 : Delhi
On the 1st Day of your Diwali vacation package, your flight will land at Delhi, where you will meet our executive, who will transfer you to the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Delhi.
Day 2 : Delhi
Exploration of Delhi - the capital of India, starts on the 2nd Day of tour. The visit to this city will include tour to all of its important locations such as Humayun Tomb, Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Akshardham Mandir. In the evening you are scheduled to attend the light and sound at Red Fort or you have the choice here, if you want you can go for shopping at Delhi Haat or Janpath. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 3 : Ayodhya
Your Diwali tour actually commences on the 3rd Day of the tour. Today we will be visiting Ayodhya - the heavenly land where Lord Rama was born and spend much of his life time here. This day is very crucial and brings to you the opportunity to visit one of the seven holiest pilgrimage destination in India.
It is said that there are more than seven thousand temples in Ayodhya. We start our day with the visit to the most famous Treta Ka Mandir where Lord Rama performed Ashvamedha Yajna. The adjoining ghats here makes the most magnificent views in the morning and evening. Next, most important destination here is Hanuman-Garhi Temple, dedicated to Lord Hanuman, the true devotee of Lord Rama. In the evening we get back to the hotel in Ayodhya.
Day 4 : Ayodhya
We will be spending one more day (i.e. 4th Day)in Ayodhya. After breakfast, we leave for our first destination which is old mosque -popularly known as Babri Masjid. Rest of the day you are free to explore end of tourist spots in the city including the Janmabhoomi, Guptar Ghat, Ramkot, Nageshwarnath Temple, Lakshman Ghat etc. Dinner and nightstay in Ayodhya.
Day 5 : Agra
Day 5 brings you the opportunity to visit the 'Seventh Wonder of the World' - Taj Mahal in Agra. The day includes tonga ride at Taj Mahal, architectural explorations, boat ride at Yamuna river and photography. Overnight stay in Agra.
Day 6 : Jaipur
On the 6th Day of the tour, we will get up early in the morning and leave for Jaipur - 'Pink City of India'. As you step into this beautiful city, you are engulfed by the aura of old world charm just like the erstwhile Rajah's and Maharajah's. During the day we will make a visit to the City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jaigarh Fort, while we have booked the evening time for Chowki Dhani. Chowki Dhani is a popular village resort where you can attend the cultural programmes, take the camel, bullock or elephant ride, participate in traditional dances and savor the pleasure of authentic Rajasthani cuisine. Back to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 7 : Mumbai
On the 7th Day we catch a flight for Mumbai- the city of Bollywood. We will reach here in the afternoon and transfered to the hotel. Afternoon halt. In the evening we spend some time at Juhu beach - making fun with you near and dear ones, eating pani puri or taking a boat ride. We get back to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 8 : Mumbai Departure
Today is the last day of our tour. We start our day with the breakfast in the hotel, than we leave for the sightseeing tour of Mumbai which includes Hotel Taj, Bungalow of Shahrukh Khan, Nariman Point, Haji Ali mosque, Film city and lot more. In the evening pack your bags, you will be transfered to the International Airport and carry your onward journey.