Diwali is one of the many festivals which everyone celebrates across India irrespective of their caste, creed and religion. After a year and a half which has been marred by the Covid-19 pandemic, this festive season is a much-needed break for people all over.
Here are some of your favourite celebrities talking to Outlook about how they’re going to celebrate this year’s Diwali and what memory do they think of when they think of this festival season:
If you are planning to venture out and meet people this Diwali, avoid gatherings or large parties. It is best to have small family get-togethers. But if you are having a family get-together, ensure that all of you have gotten your Covid-19 vaccine shots and are wearing a surgical or N95 mask, using a sanitiser and washing hands with soap frequently. Remember to ventilate your house by opening all the windows during the Puja.
Festivals are supposed to foster a sense of togetherness. It's important to be inclusive of all lives around you as you kick in the celebrations. Diwali has always been the time to count my blessings as I relish some home-cooked food in the company of my loved ones. I love how the cityscape turns into a glittering jewel as people go about trying to have the happiest time of the year with their families.
For Diwali, I will be back in Mumbai just a night before the festival, so we'll be cleaning up the house and preparing for the evening. We will decorate the temple and prepare for the Laxmi puja, then light up the diyas and candles and spend time with the family at home with obviously a lot of sweets and welcoming Laxmi at home. Diwali while growing up used to be the same. We used to do puja at home and as kids, we would burn crackers, but as we grew up and we understood that we are only adding to the pollution and we are responsible for global warming. So we stopped burning crackers many years ago, even my kids are strictly against it. So we all have a very peaceful Diwali at home.
My plans for Diwali are simple as always, just to spend as much time as possible with family indulging in all my favourite food! Not forgetting my cutest four-legged family member Hendricks, who will be getting extra treats and goodies for Diwali. My fondest memories of Diwali also revolve around meeting family. While growing up it was the time of the year we could meet all the extended family together. I have a big family so Diwali is one time where we all make an effort to be together which is really special. My grandparents often share their stories and words of wisdom which are extremely special to me.
Diwali has become more of an indoor affair now after the pandemic. Celebrations have become symbolic and cosy, which I absolutely love. This Diwali, I wish everyone lots of light and happiness in their life. Health is our true wealth today. So, hope you all are blessed with a long healthy life too.
I will be celebrating Diwali this year in Mumbai. Since my family is away, I would spend the day cleaning the house and then prepare for Laxmi puja in the evening. Then I will meet my friends who live close by and have a small get-together. All the Diwalis that I have celebrated with my family are memorable to me. Munching on sweets, helping mom put the diyas. Everything about the festival holds a special place.
Diwali will be celebrated at home in the company of my close relatives. We have already started with the cleaning. So on Diwali, we would spend the day decorating the house. Cleaning has become fun for us as Anysha (daughter) too tries to imitate us and has become our little helper. She will also join me in making a rangoli and as a mom, that's the best feeling ever. My most favourite Diwali memory are all those that I spent at home with my family.
There is so much beauty in tradition, in celebrating festivals in the purest possible way without excess because that is how our ancestors did it. There was no rush to buy needless things, burst crackers, or do anything for effect. It was just about celebrating our faith in goodness, positivity, and light with simple gestures like praying, sharing our blessings, lighting diyas, and spreading joy. Bursting crackers can be a personal choice but if our choice is hurting our children, animals, the environment, then we need to understand that our traditions did not ask for such a display of pollution. We can express our joy in more positive ways. By planting a tree or sharing a meal with someone in need, paying for someone's education. Everything we do, our children are affected by it. Let us be mindful of our actions and celebrate Diwali with smiles, diyas, yummy food, and immense love for Mother Nature. Our kids and the planet will thank us for it.
Diwali is my most favourite and the biggest festival of the year for me as it brings the whole family together. I love the fairy lights, lanterns, diyas, rangoli, and the food. Every year after Laxmi Pooja, my husband and I step out, go for a small drive to see the beautifully lit city. We don’t burst firecrackers for many years now but 'Shagun ki ek phuljhari' is a must. We end the night with a lovely party hosted every year by my childhood friend Teesha Nigam. Diwali each year creates a lot of beautiful memories but for me, the best Diwali memories are from my childhood days. My mom made special Diwali snacks, and I used to help her with it, then we would decorate the house with fairy lights and of course rangoli outside the door, pappa getting boxes full of firecrackers and holding my hand while I enjoyed bursting them. Memories of celebrating Diwali as a child will always be the most special to me.
Diwali is going to be a low-key celebration this year. It will just be my wife, my furry baby Leo and I and probably some close friends in the evening. Of course, the day will start with cleaning the house and getting it ready for the evening puja and festivities. I don't have one best Diwali memory. As a kid, every Diwali was special. I would wait for the puja to get over so that I can have laddoos.
I don't have an elaborate plan for this Diwali. Since my wife is expecting, I am going to have a close-knit celebration. Both of us will definitely do puja in the evening and light the diyas. Just the thought that next year we will have another member in the family for Diwali is very exciting for me. As a kid, I loved burning crackers. My most favourite Diwali memories are going to the market with my father to buy crackers.
As I am very close to my family, even this Diwali I’ll be celebrating with them where we will be calling in a few friends and visiting a few, My favourite memories are too many actually from Diwali. The ones that stand out are obviously when I was very small and my parents used to take me to the playground with sparklers (phuljhari) in our hands and I loved to see anaars and chakhris being burnt. Yes, definitely now we don’t burn bombs or any other cracker which makes noise. I am a dog lover and one of my dogs, Nutsy, is very scared of crackers so we make sure that we try our best to keep her sane and calm as she gets very scared because of crackers.
Pranati Rai Prakash
For Diwali, I will go to meet my family. Diwali has always been a great time to celebrate. The only difference is that I don’t play with firecrackers as in childhood. I think people are more careful about gatherings post-pandemic and they will be smaller now. Rest it’s a great time for celebration.
For me, Diwali has always been nostalgia. I went to Welham Girls' boarding school in Dehradun. So, until then, my routine on Diwali used to be the standard every year. I used to visit my family in Amritsar. It gets cold, and there is a nip in the air during this time in the city. So, the memories of getting all the winter clothes from the trunk and wearing new clothes are still fresh in my mind. So, it will always be nostalgic for me where we get our shawls out, make Angithis, have warm drinks, and visit our relatives. It is all festive, bright, and chirpy. On Diwali, we wear the brightest of clothes and decorate our homes. I live in a joint family of 11 members. So, my early memory is doing puja together in the evening. We have always been a family who has never believed in bursting firecrackers. We have always had dogs, so we have never brunt firecrackers ever since I remember. And, we have always propagated the message of going eco-friendly. I think Diyas are nice, simple, and eco-friendly. I am glad that the world is also feeling how we felt years back. Please have some heart because dogs can hear multiple-fold times, and it really bothers them. During Diwali, many dogs die because they get scared. Please don't burst firecrackers. I don't think it is needed to celebrate Diwali because it is all about happiness and love.