Whether it is just for a day or two, or a grand celebration of five days, but Diwali is the festival that is celebrated by every Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Sikh in India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Nepal and across the globe. This festival of lights invites Goddess Lakshmi into the household. It celebrates the return of the Lord of Ayodhya, Sri Ram. In some parts of India, this is a five-day extravaganza, for some a three-day festival and for the rest, it’s just the day itself. The house is decorated with flowers, diyas, and elaborate rangolis, and the aroma of traditional sweets and savouries fill the air. For the North Indians, it is a five-day festival. Two days prior to the actual Diwali day (amavasya) is ‘Dhante Ras’ (trayodashi), a day when one buys silver, light a single diya for the festivities and worship it. The next day is Chota Diwali- when eleven diyas are lit and worshipped. On the actual day of Diwali, Lakshmi puja takes predominance; diyas are lit and placed all around the house. The evening is for crackers and celebrations with family, friends, and neighbours. The following day is ‘Gowardhan puja’, when traditionally cows are worshipped and on the fifth day, ‘Bhai Dhuj’ is celebrated. On this day, married women invite their brother home for a feast. While in South India, the festivities centre over two days – Naraka Chaturdashi and Deepavali Amavasya. In many areas, the festivities start out at the crack of dawn and carry on well into the night.
Diwali is a festival for children as much as it is for adults. Soak in the festivities this time with a bit of flair and a bit of something extra – make this Diwali unforgettable for you, your family and friends by trying something new, something different. Plan a grand party, a lavish spread of goodies, share the day with orphans, surprise your friends with special gifts or escape from it all and spend the day luxuriating in a spa. Yo! Vizag has tips, suggestions, and ideas to make this Diwali a little bit more special! We also have roped in a family from the south and one from the North and got them to share their manner of celebrating Diwali.
When planning a cozy card party or a fireworks party, get the date and the guest list right. See to it that the date does not clash with any of the festive days, as invariably family takes precedence over friends on festive days. Keep the guest list easy and lively with your close friends and people who will get along well; be wary of putting together a group of complete strangers from different spheres of your life. Do all your shopping at least 3-4 days earlier, including accessories and cutlery for the food, party gaming devices, prizes and stuff. Plan smart – order some items from a reliable caterer, use ready-to-eat snacks, make easy yet tasty appetizers or main dish, and enlist your close friends or family to help. If it is a card-party, then make sure that there is a variety of non-greasy finger foods and nibbles. Set up card-tables, keep stacks of cards, to avoid any ambiguity – print out the rules of popular games and display them prominently. Keep the décor traditional with lots of marigold garlands all over, a few floating lamps (avoid too many lit candles or diyas around, every flame is a hazard unless monitored), elaborate rangolis, use paper lanterns, and Indian Classical or Hindustani music in the background. Alternatively go all Las Vegas style with balloons, bright lights, peppy music and a dance floor! Arrange an alternative like a few board games or an x-box for those who do not play cards or who want to quit after a certain point. Stock up the bar with easy to serve and popular drinks, no fancy cocktails as making and serving cocktails would need someone to man the counter all night. Keep in mind the non-drinkers and stock up on juices for them too. Throw in a bit of fireworks at the end of the party, after all this is a festival of lights. Also, hire or designate a driver for dropping the intoxicated guests, be a responsible host.
Choose a Caterer: many hotels and bakeries deliver for parties, also try Spice India (phone: !!!!!!!!), Just down the Street (phone: !!!!!!!!),
Fire up the party, burn your money at While just a few days before the festivities stalls come up on the Old Jail road, shops like Standard fireworks (Krishna College Road, Maddilapalem) and Jagan Fireworks at Purna market sell fireworks throughout the year.
Shower them with gifts!
Make this Diwali more personal; pick and choose your gifts with care.
Eastern Art Museum on the Sampath Vinayaka road stocks a wide range of selective gifts, handicrafts, and accessories, which redefine the notion of gifting. Innovative, traditional and classy these gifts are perfect for any occasion. Select from an array of articles in wood, brass, bone, fabric, leather, handmade paper… Similarly, Pages has a wide array of gifts to opt for – like unique stationary, cards, books, and diaries or a bit of silver, idols, and figures of Ganesha and Lakshmi.
Consider Gourmet gifts, like an innovative box of cupcakes that are healthy gift bouquet of chocolates! Do check out Radisa, a chocoholic’s delight. It has mind-blowing chocolate treats like chocolate flowers, bouquets, specially made chocolate visiting cards… check out the Radisa FB page for ideas and inspirations.
Indulgence! It is sweets, sweets, and more sweets!
Sweet shops like Sweet India, Ladoo Gopal and such have a wide choice of assorted sweet baskets, dry fruit baskets, savoury treats and more.Any festive occasion is all about the sweets – no celebrations is complete without the customary sweet. While making traditional sweets at home is the norm, indulging in the wide array that a sweetshop has to offer, adds to the fun and excitement. “When gifting sweets, the idea is to pick a sweet which has a good shelf-life like sweets made with cashew, badam, pista, anjeer, or the motichur ladoo, which is a popular sweet for gifting in Diwali” shares the owner of Sharad Sharma of Sweet India. For the diet conscious and diabetics, the store has a range of sugar free sweets made with Relish Sugar-Free. Along with Sweet India, the stores offer a delectable array of a classy gift pack of sweets and namkeens. But gifting apart, its time to indulge in a mouthwatering choice of sweets and savouries or maybe samosas or kachoris or vada pav or ras malais or raj bhog… the choices are as mind-boggling and tough to make as they are delicious! Serve a delicious variety of snacks, nibbles, and desserts. Try out at Sweet India and Ladoo Gopal.
Share the joy!
Diwali is a festival of joy and happiness, the story goes that every house was lit to welcome Lord Rama back into Ayodhya and that Goddess Lakshmi visits only houses that are brightly lit. Just as a lamp can share so much light, warmth and a sense of happiness, celebrate the festivities in the same manner – spread the warmth and joy of the season. Share the joys of indulging in sweets, crackers, and gifts with those who would truly appreciate your gesture and time, spend an evening in an orphanage or even an old-age home. Organise a Diwali night in a children’s home an old-age home. Make this festival brighter for them.