By Shilpa Iyer, Decor expert @harabuhouse
Diwali (or Deepavali) is the celebration of the homecoming of the King of Ayodhya, Lord Rama and his wife Sita, after fourteen years of exile. In honor of their return, their paths were lit with tiny diyas, or lamps, a tradition that is continued in Hindu households all over the world today.
Diwali is one of the most important Hindu festivals celebrated by Hindus all over the world. It is also popularly known as the “Festival of Lights” and marks the triumph of good over evil. In many states, it also marks the start of the financial New Year. All across India and parts of the world, Hindus celebrate this festival both in their homes and on the streets. Throngs of festival-goers gather around explosions of firecrackers that brightly light up the city streets and night sky. Smaller gatherings of family members and close friends visit with each other during the day and exchange sweets and other delicious edible treats.
The tradition of gift giving during Diwali conveys the idea of respect and good wishes for a prosperous year ahead. At the end of an elaborate Diwali meal, it is typical for the host to present their guests with traditional sweets or “mithais” as they depart. We found these beautiful examples of mithai boxes, several of which can be created at home with some sari fabric, cardboard and glue.
For a more modern spin on the traditional sweet boxes, we found several examples including sari pouches, handmade paper boxes and a DIY bamboo steamer decorated with colorful block-prints, paints and silk. Although decorating these bamboo steamers requires some advance planning, they really caught our eye as something that would truly impress your guests.
Although gift-giving is an integral part of the Diwali celebrations, equally important are the sweet offerings for your guests at home. We’ve found some contemporary twists on some traditional classics, as well as Indian-themed cakes and desserts.
Diwali is a time for family and friends to reflect on our actions of the past year and to give blessings for the year ahead. On This Diwali, get your family involved and create something special that your friends and family will remember for years to come!
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