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November 9, 2020

How to celebrate Diwali at home - Diwali celebration ideas

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How to celebrate Diwali at home

Diwali or Deepavali (in Tamil) is one of the biggest Hindu festivals celebrated across India. It is one of the most important festivals of the year. I have been sharing the celebration procedures of various Hindu festivals in my blog. But somehow I missed posting on how to celebrate Diwali at home. This is purely Tamil nadu style celebration and that too my family’s way of Diwali celebration at my home.

Diwali festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. So Diwali is called the Festival of Lights. 

Diwali falls in the month of 'Kartik' in Hindu calendar. It is the celebration of returning of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. Diwali is also the day on which Lord Krishna had defeated demon Narakasura.

Diwali diya decorations

Unlike other Hindu festivals, there is no hard and fast rules for Diwali celebration. It would be a fun-filled festival. Even though this festival is important to Hindus, it is also enjoyed and celebrated by non-hindus as well. Diwali celebration includes lighting Diya and LED lights across the house, decoration with flowers, rangoli, shopping dresses, fireworks/ crackers, puja (prayers), exchanging gifts, enjoying grand food and relish Diwali special sweets & snacks.

On this day, we light candles and decorate our homes with Rangoli. We burn firecrackers, eat lots of sweets, snacks and share them with our friends and neighbors. Diwali is the most loved festival, and we enjoy it very much. I have shared some of our last year's Diwali celebration images below. Hope you will get some ideas with it !

Diwali sweets and snacks


Ingredients for Diwali celebration :

  • New dresses for the family members
  • Crackers (optional, avoid using to celebrate Eco friendly Diwali)
  • Sesame oil, Shikakai powder, turmeric powder, mehandi powder or paste.
  • Banana leaf
  • Coconut
  • Betel leaf and nut
  • Banana
  • Turmeric and kumkum
  • Lamps, oil and wicks
  • Varieties of sweets and snacks
  • Idli rice, urad dal to make idli batter

Diwali Pre – Preparation :

For us, Diwali preparation begins with purchase of new dresses for the family. We purchase Diwali dresses one month before the festival. Diwali shopping would be a big excitement for all of us. We buy dresses for my in-laws & ourselves and in turn they buy dresses or silver articles for us as Diwali gift.

Diwali decorations

We don’t have the practice of doing grand decorations for Diwali instead my daughter loves to paint some clay lamps/ diya and we light it in our house entrance around the rangoli. She also puts mehandi for me and herself. 

Diwali snacks recipes

Next to Diwali shopping comes the Diwali recipes preparation. As a food blogger, I start to make Diwali recipes 15 days before the festival to blog the sweets and snacks recipes. But my MIL starts the preparation one week before Diwali. She makes a big batch of thenkuzhal, ribbon pakoda, kara sev and maida chips/ namakpara for snacks. These snacks are must in our house.

For sweets, usually my MIL makes Badushah, maida burfi, badam burfi, wheat halwa and boondhi ladoo. Once I go to Salem, I make some kaju katli and gulab jamun as the last minute sweets. Overall minimum one variety of halwa, burfi, ladoo, gulab jamun and some milk sweets or cashew sweets will be in the diwali menu.

We reserve few pieces of sweet and snacks in separate boxes to keep them for naivedyam on Diwali day and we consume the rest.

Finally, we purchase crackers a week before Diwali. But recent years, we stopped buying them. We just buy sparklers and one packet of crackers for keeping in neivedyam.


Coming to our house Diwali celebration procedures :

Diwali celebration

In some places, Diwali is a five days festival. But for us, its a 2 days festival. Every year, we go to Salem 2 days before Diwali and love to celebrate it with my in-laws. On Diwali day, I also visit my parents as both my parents and in-laws are at Salem. So its a double treat for me.

Diwali sweets

On the eve of Diwali, we burn crackers till 8.30 night and then we start to prepare suzhiyan, adhirasam which is a must do for Diwali in my home. We stack it in a box. We wash & decorate the diyas/ lamps and other pooja items, decorate them with turmeric, kumkum dots. Sweep the house and draw rangoli / color kolam in house entrance and in pooja room.

In a big plate, we arrange all the new dress by keeping turmeric & kumkum in a corner of the dress and keep everything ready in pooja room. We also keep a small packet of crackers safely in one corner to keep it for neivedyam. By the time, we finish all these works, it will be around 10.30-11 PM. You can do all these activities in the day time as well.

On Diwali day morning, we ladies wake up early around 4 AM, brush the teeth and wash the face. My MIL ( eldest lady) lights the lamp and keep a small bowl of sesame oil/ nalla ennai & shikakai powder, turmeric powder and mehandi / marudhani in pooja room. In 2 plates, we keep a set of betel leaves, nuts, 2 banana and one unbroken coconut. The elder( my FIL) in our home apply little oil in the forehead for all of us and keep a pinch of shikai powder on our head for sastram. Then we take bath and wear some old clothes first.

How to celebrate diwali at home

We ladies enter the kitchen and start to make vada, bajji, idli & sambar for breakfast. In the mean time, my FIL keep flowers for all the idols and keep the pooja room ready. After making all neivedyam recipes, we keep the dresses in 2 different plates, keep some crackers in front of the God as shown in the picture above. We place 2 banana leaves (one for veetu theivam and another one for magamaayi) in front of the God and serve the reserved sweets and snacks along with idli smeared with ghee, vada, suzhiyan and adhirasam.  No need to keep sambar if you add onion. Break the coconut that is kept in the thamboolam plate and get ready for main pooja.

This is my MIL’s practice but my mom offers all sweets & snacks along with bajji, idli and vada in front of our pooja room in common to all the God. I heard most of the people worship Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi on this day. Finally, it depends on our tradition. We don't chant any slokhas or sthothrams or keep kalasam on this day. You can recite some Lakshmi slokhas if you like. 

Usually, we do the pooja before 6 am. The eldest person(my FIL) in the family do the pooja by showing dhoop, dheep and give dresses to everyone.  Dresses are given to the younger ones in the family and then goes according to the age. We wear the new dress and start to burn crackers. 

diwali food


After burning crackers for an hour, we have breakfast (Idli sambar) along with diwali sweets & savouries in banana leaf. In the above pictures, I have shared our last year’s Diwali sweets, snacks and breakfast.

After breakfast, myself and my MIL pack the sweets and snacks for our neighbors and friends, distribute them. That’s all. All our works will be over with this . Then we have a relaxing day by watching all the special programs in TV & enjoy the whole day without cooking.

Every body will have the sweets, snacks, vadai, suzhiyan & adhirasam as food for the whole day. We don’t prepare lunch on Diwali day instead we give the sweets, snacks, vada or bajji if they feel hungry or make tea / coffee / juice if needed. 

Diwali celebration at home

On Diwali day evening, we wear new dresses and we burst all the remaining crackers with family and friends and finish the celebration. We make idli sambar for dinner or some curd rice to keep it light and simple. This is how we celebrate our Diwali. 

On diwali night or the next day morning, we consume a small gooseberry sized diwali legiyam for better digestion.

Please find all our diwali recipes collection if you are interested.

Disclaimer : All these details shared above are based on my family’s celebration procedure. Please consult with your elders and alter it as per your tradition and practice.



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2 comments :

harini said...

Hi very interesting to know ur house deepavali celebrations.👌

Chitra said...

Thank you Harini 😊