Let’s just say it out loud now. When the lockdown started in March, no one thought that we would feel its effects right down in November, during Diwali — one of the most important festivals in our country. We’re not technically in lockdown, but it still feels different, doesn’t it? We are used to gatherings and celebrating with family, friends, even strangers during Diwali. It’s the festival of lights and joy and new beginnings. How exactly do we celebrate it amidst a pandemic, then?
As much as this isn’t ideal, the time we are living in is surely unique. We (hopefully) won’t re-live such a pandemic that forces people to stay apart. So instead of moping around and being sad that Diwali feels different this year, we should be thinking about ways we can still make it feel the same as before. Here’s are six suggestions on how you can get started at it:
D – Dress up!
The best part of any festivities? Shopping for new clothes and accessories! Diwali season marks the beginning of numerous sales in almost every clothing store. Online shopping is already surging, so might as well take advantage of it! Indulge in shopping for clothes and then showing it off to each other once they arrive. Shopping malls are open too, with social distancing guidelines in place for your safety. But in the spirit of Diwali, we’d urge you to contribute to smaller businesses who have suffered great losses during this time. Visit or order from a small boutique instead of well established brands. They might surprise you with even better, one-of-a-kind products! Help them celebrate a comfortable Diwali of their own.
I – Indulge in rangoli making
Rangoli is an integral part of Diwali celebrations! This time, go big and bold with your rangoli designs just to show off a little on social media. Use accessories such as beautiful diyas to accentuate its beauty. If you don’t know how to draw a rangoli, this is the perfect time to learn! While buying colors, try to get them from the poor, independent sellers who will appreciate the money you give them. Some sellers also make colors from natural ingredients, so that they’re eco-friendly. Definitely worth a try!
W – Wash every corner
We know you’ve been washing and cleaning and sanitizing every thing and surface in your house. But Diwali cleaning is different. It’s standing on a stool with a broom in your hand, removing the ceiling cobwebs you can’t see, but your screaming mother on the ground can. It’s straining your back to clean every small corner of your house, in every direction (even up), with so much soap and detergent that you smell like them the whole day. It’s packing up unused and unseen (also forgotten) items you find in an old cupboard before you wash and clean that too. Then, finally, it’s about the hot tea and snacks reward that mom has at the ready for all your efforts!
A – Avoid the noise (and crowds)
Social distancing, y’all. We have to do all of our celebrations with the pandemic in our minds. Make Diwali more about love, connection and blessings rather than noisy crackers, fireworks and pollution. The younger generation has steadily moved on from pollution emitting crackers and practices. Light diyas around your home and in the building. Let the only noise be of you and your family’s laughter as you enjoy time together.
L – Learn to make faral
Another essential category of Diwali. Faral comprises all the yummy, homemade snacks and sweets we make at home for the occasion of Diwali. Chakli, ladoo, shankarpali, karanji, chivda, sev, anarse and so much more to eat as faral during this time! We have more than enough time to make such faral items that will last well until December. This lockdown, work as a family together to make faral and enjoy the process! Don’t worry about the calories too much, anything made with love can’t be that bad for your health! But be ready to have this faral way past Diwali everyday with evening tea.
I – Illuminate the lives of others
Diwali is about spreading light and love. Don’t limit this to just your family, especially during this tough time. Go the extra mile to bring comfort and peace to someone you don’t know. Donate old belongings to charities that work for underprivileged people. Buy from small business and local shops. Prefer handmade and natural products. Eat and order from lesser known restaurants or caterers. Everyone is struggling. If you have the means to make it easier for even one stranger, please go ahead.
This Diwali will truly be remembered by everyone. Not because we are confined in our houses, but because we made it special despite that. If not in person, webcalls for Diwali celebrations are surely possible. This is a one-in-a-lifetime scenario that we will look back at many, many times. Make sure you do enough to remember it with a smile.