Diwali is one celebration I look forward to every single year. Unlike Christmas, I prepare for it way in advance and that leaves me enough time to enjoy it. The traditional Festival of Lights is one of the most prominent events celebrated in India and South-East Asia, and it spans over several days. But here in South Africa, we usually celebrate it on a single day. I’m sharing some of my family’s Diwali traditions in 2022 below.
The significance for me personally as a Life Coach is – the actual reason for the festival itself. Diwali is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. I love that it signifies the opening of our own true light that sparkles within us. My life’s work is helping people see that light and harness it to take control of their lives, so you can understand why I love this so much.
Tradition 1 – Baking
Ever since I can remember, my granny, mum, and uncle have all baked a variety of sweetmeats and biscuits a few days leading up to the festival. As little kids, we would put our orders in for whichever favorite biscuit, and each one was baked for us to enjoy. As the years have passed, that task has been handed over to me, so I’m the resident baker in our family now. I take the kiddie’s orders and make their wishes come true with biscuits. It’s a ton of work, but I love it. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m an avid baker and self-proclaimed pastry chef, so the kitchen is my second home. I bake enough for a few different households here, so everyone can munch on the stuff for days afterward. We also gift out trays filled to the brim with biscuits and sweetmeats to our friends, neighbors, and other loved ones.
Tradition 2 – Lamps
We light lamps and distribute them all over the house as soon as the sun sets in the evening. Back in the day, the lamps were made of clay, filled with oil, and had handmade cotton wool wicks. Over the years, they’ve evolved into lanterns, candles, and beautiful little decorated tea lights in ceramic containers. I love putting them in and around the house, they light everything up so beautifully. There’s something so magical about seeing hundreds of little lights in your backyard.
Tradition 3 – Supper
We love food. All year round. But on Diwali, our whole family gets together and we each make something amazing for the dinner table. Usually, it’s a biryani with tons of sides and desserts. My sister is always in charge of salads because she does them best. And yes, you guessed it – dessert is my forte. Having everyone around the table for this night in the year, makes me so happy because we all lead such busy lives. We don’t connect as often as I’d like us to, especially because our family lives in different states (provinces). So Diwali supper is something I look forward to every year.
There are more traditions that we do, but these are the Top 3 for me. The significance of this day is never lost on me, because it’s also symbolic of another year that we’re all together, happy and healthy. There’s no feeling quite like it. And when the night is over, we all go back to our lives and do what we do best. But the good thing about the week after, is that we have tons of leftover homemade biscuits to enjoy which is something I don’t have any other time of the year!
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