Diwali is among India’s most celebrated festivals. Diwali, or Deepavali, is the celebration of light that kills darkness as good triumphs over bad. In ancient traditional ways, every Indian house prepares for Diwali and celebrates the festival with long-established customs. Here are some of the customs and rituals related to Diwali which you should know.
Diwali and its traditions
The festival is described in Vedic scriptures as the Padma Purana, celebrated according to the Hindu calendar after the harvest season. The festivities continue for five days and begin with Dhanteras. In India, purchasing jewellery (gold or silver) on this day is considered to be auspicious. The second day is called Narak Chaturdasi. People light 14 diyas to ward off evil. The third day is when Diwali with family is truly celebrated and 21 diyas are lit. People observe Govardhan pooja on the 4th day, in memory of Lord Krishna. On the 5th day, the festival concludes with observing Bhai Dooj.
However, the primary occasion of Diwali has many customs and traditions related to it. Some of them are as follows:
- Cleaning of the house – Cleaning homes before Diwali is an age-old norm. Indians think that if your house is tidy, the Goddess Lakshmi only steps inside.
- Sweets – Diwali is a time to let go of whatever diet regimes or habits of exercise you have! There’s plenty of food for the five days of celebration, particularly sweets! During celebrations, chakli, peda, barfi, and laddoo are popular.
- Rangoli – People decorate their homes with rangoli. Rangoli powder comes in many shades, and exquisite patterns decorate the porch of one’s house.
- Laxmi Pujan – As per the Hindu calendar, an intricate puja is held to usher in the new year. Families are dressed up in their best. The main door is held open during the puja ceremonies, as a sign of welcoming the Goddess into their houses. The threshold of houses is adorned with elegant rangolis made of flowers and/or colours and other decorative objects, and torans or door hangings are used to improve the home’s elegance. Through worshipping Goddess Lakshmi, new projects and new accounting years are also started on this day.
- Lighting up – Home lighting is a must to welcome Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of good fortune, into one’s home. And lighting homemade earthen lamps with oil is the popular way to do it. Placed on window sills and doorways, they bring to the darkest corners of the house a glittering glow.
- Gift exchanges and playing cards – Now comes the most interesting, fun and exciting part of the festival which is gifts and card games. The festival is a time of year where families from all around the world come together. Close and extended family pay visits for hours of banter, card playing and gifts at each other’s house!
Gambling on Diwali
Playing cards are considered very auspicious on Diwali. Apart from shooting crackers, the best way of entertainment on Diwali is playing cards. The playing of cards always begins after the Lakshmi Puja and continues all through the night. Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, is believed to smile on any player who plays cards on Diwali and reminds him of her goodwill.
The legend behind this tradition
- There is a legend behind the practice of gambling on Diwali as well. It is assumed that Goddess Parvati played dice with Lord Shiva on this day and she claimed that anybody who gambled on Diwali night would prosper in the year that followed.
- There are other additions to the legend that also include, playing dice, rendering it a family affair, the two sons of Goddess Parvati, Ganesh and Kartikeya. And the gods were fond of playing games for fun. In a sculpture at Kailash Temple, the scene of their playing can be seen.
- The one who doesn’t gamble on Diwali will be resurrected as a donkey, goes another legend.
How do people continue this tradition on Diwali?
People invite their friends and relatives to play Indian card games in most homes. If they bet, stakes are kept very low and participation is allowed for children and adolescents. There’s lots of laughter, food, and fun chatter.
Many people claim that as part of the harvest festival, the practice of playing dice and gambling on Diwali may have begun. The farmers will have money in their pockets from the selling of the products in this environment. There will be time to celebrate with family and friends as the harvest is finished and the new planting season has not yet begun.
Dice games were already common in ancient times and it seems unavoidable that they should be included as part of the celebration of Diwali.
Furthermore, the festival is about wealth, happiness and hospitality, all things that can be expressed by playing dice or cards. Many people feel gambling is a part of the holiday’s overall merriment and a good way to foster family and friends’ togetherness. Since Diwali is observed as the sun moves through Libra (represented as equilibrium), playing cards seem to be an apt way to observe equilibrium and moderation.
Casinos and Diwali
Gambling dens and casinos rake in the moolah during the celebrations of Diwali, by the way. People with cash in their wallets flock the local clubs to let lady luck shine on them like never before. However, with the advent of online and mobile casinos, the scene has changed. Online casinos like Comeon Casino and Pure Casino provide many variations of your favourite card games like Teen Patti on their platforms. By playing card games online this Diwali with your kith & kin, you too can encourage yourself to have some fun. So what are you waiting for? Visit any online casino and enjoy this Diwali with your favourite card games at your fingertips. Happy Diwali!