Diwali Traditions

 Last week no post, guess why? I was Cleaning. Yes the annual home clearance. Why??
It's Diwali!!! 

The biggest tradition of Diwali is cleaning up every nook and corner of your house. Apart from the fact Goddess Lakshmi super-likes clean homes and then only decides if she stays with us or not it is also a necessary tradition for a healthy being. 

Diwali marks the onset of winters (well usually but with global warming seasons are turning moody, I tell ya)  After the rains lot of fungus and insects unknowingly settle in our home without our permission thus sanitising your home from moisture is a must.. Once winter kicks in our tolerance power to fight the war of flu, cold, allergies, etc. will be leveled down. Hence as a precaution this festival significantly focuses on the #swachbharat campaign ;) 

Similar to this tradition there are many small stories and customs associated with Diwali which have a scientific explanation to them like the Abhyanga Snana. 

It is a spa in your home I say which opens at dawn. The mother or the wife first does arti and tilak to the kids or husband then applies bit of aromatic oil to their head followed by a whole body massage and scrub with coconut milk and uptan respectively. Uptan/ उटणे is sort of a herbal mud pack which is to be mixed with milk or coconut milk.

Abhyanga Snana 

Spiritually the idea behind this act is to cleanse out all impurities from mind like anger, jealousy, greed and inhale a fresh fragrance of peace, truth and love. Scientifically, Diwali embarks the winter season thus following  this home-spa-ritual makes the body ready for the cold climate by removal of dead cells and moisturizing the skin plus it saves a hell lot on the salon bills. 

There is one more traditional ritual for which I do not know the scientific significance or probably there isn't one either, but I follow it cause I find it mystical.  

A night before Lakshmi Poojan, the Diwali Amavasya starts. It is also known as Kali chaudas. Various tantric rituals also take place on this night. It is like the biggest amavasya night in the hindu calendar. Now, stories say that on this night the spirits our forefathers visit us. It is told that they come to eat a morsel and drink water at your home.

"Do they come for an yearly inspection"? my Hubby enquires. I guess they do. Now if they do not find a neat and clean kitchen where you keep food and water for them, they do tend to curse. 

So we need to finish dinner early, remove some food for "them", clean the utensils and almost bring the kitchen to a sparkle. Draw swastika with rangoli, place the food in a plate or banana leaf with some water in a small glass. Light a diya and also keep a small broom. Pray to your forefathers and invite them home for the meal. Then leave the kitchen, if your kitchen has a door close it and No Entry in the kitchen till the next morn. 

Once the "inspectors" are happy, they dust of all the worries from your family and head abode back to the heaven on the Diwali night (i.e. once lakshmi puja is done and amavasya ends) as per the blessings of Yama. 

Mystical, told ya!

The only logical reasoning I can enlighten you with is that we need to remember our ancestors and thank them for our existence, passing on their knowledge & value system down to us even in a festive mood. Next day you can give the food to a cow or a perhaps a crow who might be easily available than hunting a for cow in the city.

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