Diwali in Jaipur marks the beginning of tourism season. It is also the biggest festival of Hindus in India and abroad. Diwali is also called Deepawali which means the festival of lights.
The most popular festival is celebrated in each part of the country and here is a detailed coverage on how Diwali is celebrated in Jaipur.
Deepawali in Sanskrit means series of Deepak or lamps.
When is Diwali in Jaipur celebrated?
It is celebrated in the months of October or November every year. The festival of lights falls on 15th day of Kartik Month of the Hindu calendar.
The Festival of Lights is celebrated on Amavasya or no moon day. The festival is celebrated according to Hindu calendar. As a result the dates of the festival vary every year. Diwali in Jaipur is on 7th November in 2018.
Where to celebrate Diwali in Jaipur?
Things to do on Diwali in Jaipur – All the tourists want to experience Diwali as locals do. It is best to celebrate Diwali with an Indian family if possible. Otherwise, most of the hotels and guest houses organize special Diwali ceremonies for guests. You can be a part of it. Look for local events which may give you an opportunity to feel the warmth and happiness.
Here is a list of some places you can go to celebrate Diwali in Jaipur,
- Jal Mahal – The water palace in Jaipur is decorated with beautiful lights till midnight. It is a treat for eyes to see glowing Palace’s reflection in water.
- Walled City of Jaipur – Almost every market of walled city is decorated with attractive lights on 5 days festival. So as to it is an absolutely no miss place for everyone.
- Nahargarh Fort – The fort bestows with breathtaking view of Jaipur in normal days. Imagine seeing Diwali decorations of Jaipur from top of Nahargarh Fort. It is a once in a year chance opportunity for photographers.
- Gaurav Tower – The iconic GT mall is still the most happening place of Jaipur. And it gets more happening on Diwali with colorful light decorations. And yes, new sensation World Trade Park too is nearby so you can enjoy both in same go.
- Rajapark – It is another shopper’s heaven in Jaipur. The market attracts everyone with beautiful light decorations and tasty food. While you can enjoy the view, can also feed your belly with tasty food.
- Any Nearby Temple – Hindus light diya in all the temples in Jaipur on Diwali festival. Devotees of all age groups wearing traditional attires visit temples on the eve of Diwali. The gloaming diyas and colorful clothes are an unforgettable experience for anyone. Also, we enjoy including guests in our celebrations.
Who celebrates Deepavali?
Although it is the main festival of Hindus; Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists also celebrate Deepavali with different names and different historical reasons. As the country is home to diversified cultures people of every faith stand shoulder to shoulder in celebrating the festival of lights.
What’s the religious significance of Deepawali?
Diwali is celebrated in all parts of India but in different regions it has different recognition. Like Hindus of Eastern India associate Diwali with Goddess Durga. While in Northern India it derives its significance from holy book of Ramayana.
It is mentioned in the book that Lord Rama returned to his capital Ayodhya on this day. He was exiled from the State for 14 years. During exile, he defeated Demon King Ravana and returned home with his wife Sita, brother Lakshmana and accomplice Lord Hanumana.
The event is marked as a festival of victory of good over evil.
Lord Rama brought the enlightenment in the lives of people. It is said that the people of Ayodhya lighted lamps in joy of return of their king. Therefore, the tradition of lighting diyas on Diwali came into existence.
Goddess Laxmi or Lakshmi is also worshiped on the eve of Deepawali. She is the wife of Lord Vishnu and signifies wealth and monies. Businessmen, ordinary people, self employed or working class everyone worships Goddess Lakshmi on Diwali. They seek the blessing of her and wealth.
Diwali Celebration in Jaipur
Jaipur has a very interesting reason to celebrate Diwali, though, most of the people are not aware of it. The Royal Family of Jaipur considers them descendants of Kusha who is son of Lord Rama. And hence the importance of homecoming of Lord Rama gives us another reason to celebrate.
There are many rituals related to Diwali. The 5 day festival in Jaipur is the biggest carnival of celebrations. Whole Walled City is decorated with fancy lights and different animations reliving the iconic moments from the battle between Ram and Ravana. As a result, tourists from all over the world visit Jaipur to witness Diwali.
People of all age groups wait for Jaipur Diwali for whole year. It is considered the auspicious time for purchasing assets, jewelry, gold, vehicles etc. But the actual preparations start one month prior to the festival.
Preparations for Jaipur Diwali celebration start almost a month ago, the actual festival celebration is a 5 day event.
It is just after the monsoon season. Here is a list of some common rituals that we people of Jaipur perform and follow for Diwali –
- After the monsoon season has passed the microorganisms develop at a fast pace. People of Jaipur paint their home interiors and exteriors every year during that period along with dusting of every part of house which helps in stopping the germs, mosquitoes and microorganisms.
- From rich to poor, male to female and old to kids, everyone buys new clothes for the festival.
- It is considered auspicious to exchange gifts on Diwali. Thus, people buy gifts for their relatives and friends.
- Traditional sweets have a special place in Jaipur’s cuisine and Diwali is the stage to prepare them. People make sweets and buy them from shops. They offer sweets to relatives and friends.
- People decorate their homes and offices with oil lamps and lights. Thus, giving Deepawali a meaningful purpose.
- It is considered auspicious to purchase assets, jewellery or vehicles during this festive time. Markets are flooded with discounts and offers during the festival.
- People donate clothes, food and other stuff to needy people.
- Most of the schools, colleges, government offices give festive holidays so this is also the time for homecoming for many.
- After the evening puja ceremonies of Goddess Lakshmi, people go out with families and friends to see the Walled City decorations.
- Kids, young and old people of Jaipur love to burn firecrackers on the eve of Diwali.
Five Day Diwali Celebrations in Jaipur
Now, let’s talk about the five days Diwali celebrations in Jaipur.
#1 Dhanteras in Jaipur
The festival is celebrated 2 days prior to Diwali on the thirteenth day of Kartik month. Dhan means wealth and Teras means 13th. Therefore, the literal meaning of Dhanteras is the Thirteenth day of Wealth. It marks the beginning of Diwali celebrations in Jaipur and India.
This day is considered auspicious for purchasing utensils, vehicles, firecrackers, clothes, jewellery and other home equipment. The decorations of markets go live on this day. Dhanteras is the formal start of deep-daan. People wash their offices and homes and light earthly pot diya in front of Lakshmi and Ganesha Bhagwan. These will be lit for 5 days.
#2 Choti Diwali in Jaipur
It is the fourteenth day of Kartik month, a day before no moon day or Diwali. Thus, it is named Choti (young or small) Diwali. On this day people of Jaipur go out shopping of clothes, sweets, eatables, home items, firecrackers etc.
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Many people in Jaipur go out for seeing Diwali decorations of Diwali. Again, the homes and offices are cleaned and in the evening ladies lit diyas in front of Lakshmi and Ganesha. Also, diyas are lit at the front doors of the homes to mark the celebrations.
#3 Diwali Night in Jaipur – Goddess Lakshmi Puja
The grandest festival of Diwali happens on the Amavasya of Kartik month. Everybody wakes up early in the morning and get ready in new clothes. People wash and clean their houses for welcoming Goddess Lakshmi. Feasts are prepared at home and sweets are bought from markets too.
Business owners give gifts to their contacts and employees and many other pay Diwali bonus. Shopkeepers gift their workers with new clothes. Same way gifts are exchanged with relatives and friends.
At the time of dusk, everyone again wears new clothes. After that diyas are put in big metal plates and Goddess Lakshmi and God Ganesha are worshiped. Ladies go to the temple to lit earthly lamps (diyas). And diyas are lit at every part of home so that there is no darkness left. People touch the feet of their elders and seek their blessings. In return, they are gifted with cash or gifts.
Soon after the firecrackers are burned. Whole family, neighbors and friends gather to enjoy the bursting firecrackers. This goes on till late night. Many people spare time to go out for seeing Diwali decorations in Jaipur.
Diwali eve is also known as Lakshmi Puja as in the final ritual Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped with sugarcane, flowers, sweets, eatables, rice and other things during auspicious hours.
#4 Govardhan Puja or Annakut
The day after Diwali is celebrated as Govardhan Puja or Annakuta in Jaipur. It is the festival of delicacies. Annakut means mountain of food in Sanskrit. Rice, Pearl Millet Khichdi, Mung Beans, Churma, Pakodi, Pua, Kadhi etc are some vegetarian dishes that are prepared at homes and temples. And ‘Gadde ki Sabzi’ or Mix vegetable is the specialty of Annakut.
These are offered to Lord Krishna and then served to family members. Many temples also organize Annakut feasts. Most of the times the entry to these feasts are on invitation only.
#5 Bhai Dooj or Bhaiya Duj in Jaipur
Just like Rakshabandhan, Bhai Dooj is another festival of Hindus to commemorate the relationship of brothers and sisters. This is the last day of the 5 days celebrations. On this day people visit their relatives and friends to greet them Diwali wishes.
Sisters and daughters visit their paternal homes on the festival. They put a teeka on their brother’s forehead, tie a religious thread on the wrist and wish for long life of their brothers. In return brothers gift them with presents. Later the whole family sits together for the feasts.
Exchange of gifts and greetings for Deepawali continue for next many days even after the 5-day festival commences. Furthermore, people visit family members, relatives and friends to wish them and ask for blessings from their elders.
How to celebrate Diwali in Jaipur?
While in Jaipur do as the locals do.
There are certain things that you can do to celebrate Diwali in Jaipur like –
- Start with buying new clothes, gifts or presents for friends or relatives.
- You may ask to be a part of celebrations to your known people in the city.
- Try to go for a photo walk in a group. Given that you will have more opportunities to explore the local life and the festival spirit by close.
- Sharing gifts and presents to your friends or relatives will bring more joy to you at the festival.
- Wearing traditional Indian clothes will get you in a festive mood.
- Everyone loves firecrackers in India. Buy some firecrackers and help children burn them safely. Provided that you will be their hero.
Most importantly it is not necessary that you agree on the traditions and rituals but being respectful of local sentiments and values is most important.
These were the things to do in Jaipur during Diwali. The 5 days Celebration of Diwali in Jaipur involves many other traditions and rituals. Being a part of the grandest festival of India is an overwhelming feeling that you need to see by yourselves.