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Diwali 2017: Significance of the Diwali, Celebrations & Rituals, Date & Diwali Recipes

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Deepawali 2017: 19th october'2017
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  • Deepawali or Diwali is the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu festivals.
  • Diwali or Deepawali is the festival of lights: “Deep+awali”: deep means “light” and awali “a row,” so, deepawali means “a row of lights”.
  • Diwali is marked by four days of celebration, which literally illuminates the country with its brilliance and dazzles all with its joy.
  • The Diwali festival occurs in late October or early November. It falls on the 15th day of the Hindu month, Kartik, so it varies every year.

About Diwali:

Diwali (Deepawali) is considered to be the most significant festival in India. It symbolizes the victory of good over evil and the power of  light over darkness. The preparations of Diwali starts days before in which people clean their houses and offices and decorate them with lights and Diyas ( oil lamps) .

When is Diwali? – Diwali 2017 falls on 19th October 2017

Significance of Diwali

Diwali marks the homecoming of Lord Rama with his wife Sita after killing the evil king Ravana. He was sent to 14 – year – exile by his father, King Dushrath during which he was wandering in forests and villages of India. On this special occasion of his return to ayodhaya, the capital of Lord Rama, people decorated the whole kingdom with oil lamps and busted crackers with joy.

Diwali Celebrations and Rituals

On this auspicious occasion of diwali people welcome goddess Laxmi in their houses by lighting traditional earthen Diyas ( oil lamps) , making colorful rangoli , decorating house with flowers  and placing paduka (footsteps of goddess Laxmi)  at the entrance. Also there is a tradition of exchanging gifts and sweets with friends and family and donating food and goods to the needy. People wear new clothes and prepare tasty sweets and food delicacies at their home. At night Laxmi Puja takes place for the wealth and prosperity in the house after which people go outside to fire crackers and enjoy the festival.

Special Recipe to Serve on Diwali

With the joy of festival and stress free work schedules we often forget to keep check on our weight and calorie intake. And thanks to the goodies we receive and sweets which we make at home containing loads of sugar. To avoid the unnecessary weight gain and calories , here is a mouthwatering yet low calorie recipe of Oats Laddu which you can easily prepare at home this Diwali.

Ingredients:

  • Dates – ½ Cup
  • Oats – ¼ Cup
  • Cashew nuts – ¼ Cup
  • Almonds – ¼ Cup
  • Dry Coconut – ¼ Cup (shredded)
  • Powdered Sugar as per taste
  • Green Cardamom Powder – ½ tsp
  • Ghee as required

Preparation:

  1. Remove seeds from dates and chop them.
  2. Dry roast oats, cashew nuts and almonds, shredded coconut separately.
  3. Coarsely grind dates, oats, cashew nuts and almonds separately.
  4. Heat pan and add 1 tbsp ghee.
  5. Now add ground oats, cashew nuts, almonds, shredded coconut, green cardamom powder. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes on slow flame. Stir continuously.
  6. When the mixture starts to come together switch off the flame.
  7. Transfer the mixture into the large mouth bowl and add powdered sugar and some ghee (if required for binding). Mix well and allow this mixture to cool down.
  8. Shape the mixture into small balls like laddu and serve.

 

Gift Ideas for Diwali

There is an old tradition of exchanging gifts on Diwali with our family and friends as it adds to the happiness of our loved ones. Here are some of the unique gift items which you can gift to your close ones:

Personalized gift items: Colorful earthen pots, diyas, mugs and cushions designed with your choice of painting and colors can be a cool gift for your friends and family.

 Diwali cupcakes: Sweet with a message can be a unique gift for your loved ones. You can gift a box of cupcakes with Diwali theme running through them to your friends.

Online gift vouchers: You can gift your friends online shopping gift vouchers of leading online shopping portals like Amazon , Flipkart , Snapdeal , Jabong and many others to treat them with gift products of their own choice.

Prepared by Pragya Mittal | Twitter @PragyaMittal05

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All You Need To Know About The Makar Sankranti Festival

Makar Sankranti is a Hindu Festival observed every year in the month of January

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Makar Sankranti is one of the most fun filled festivals where people socialize and celebrate together in harmony. Wikimedia Commons
Makar Sankranti is one of the most fun filled festivals where people socialize and celebrate together in harmony. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma 

  • Makar Sankranti is a Hindu Festival observed every year in the month of January
  • The festival embarks the end of Winter Season and the arrival of Summer Season
  • Sankranti is a festival of joy and is celebrated with great jest throughout India

Makar Sankranti is one of the most celebrated festivals of India. It is full of colour, jest and joy. This festival is celebrated every year in the month of January. Makar Sankranti 2018 was a huge success, and now it is hard to wait for the Makar Sankranti 2019 which will be on 15th January, next year.

Makar sankranti is celebrated in different forms in different parts of India. NewsGram took the picture in New Delhi, India
this festival is celebrated in different forms in different parts of India. NewsGram took the picture in New Delhi, India

However, before getting all excited about this fun-filled festival. It is important to know about it. Here is all you need to know about the Makar Sankranti Festival.

What is Makar Sankranti and why is it celebrated? 

Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival which almost always arrives on 14th January of every year. The festival is famous for joyous activities like kite flying, bonfires, fairs and feats.

Also Read: The Phenomenal Essence Of ‘Surya Namaskar Yagna’

Hindus in different parts of India celebrate this festival in different forms. In north India, Sikhs celebrate it as Lohri. In Assam, it is observed as Magh Bihu, while in Tamil Nadu, it is celebrated as Pongal and as Uttarayan in Gujarat.

The Makar Sankranti festival is dedicated to the Hindu sun deity, Surya, and is celebrated on the occasion of it entering the zodiac sign, Makara (Capricorn). This denotes the arrival of longer days, i.e. the season of summer.

Kite flying is one of the most joyous activities during this festival. Wikimedia  Commons
Kite flying is one of the most joyous activities during this festival. Wikimedia Commons
Along with marking the end of Winter season, Makar Sankranti also denotes the beginning of new harvest season.
How is Makar Sankranti Celebrated?
On the day of Makar Sankranti, many people take dips in the holy rivers gaga and Yamuna as it is considered really auspicious and it is believed that one can absolve their sins that way.
People prepare delicacies like Halwa and sesame-seed laddus on this occasion. Bonfires are burnt and people celebrate by dancing around it. Kite flying is also one of the most important activities which are undertaken to celebrate the festival of Sankranti, especially in Gujarat.

Makar sankranti is celebrated as Magh Bihu in Assam. Wikimedia Commons
Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Magh Bihu in Assam. Wikimedia Commons
One of the most fun parts of the Sankranti Festival is the organisation of various fairs. Fairs like Kumbh Mela, Gangasagar Mela and Makara Mela are some of the most famous fairs which are organised during this Indian festival.
Makara Sankranti is a wonderful festival which is a great way for people to socialise and celebrate together.