Deepawali or Diwali is certainly the biggest of all Hindu festivals. It’s also called the Festival of Lights, which literally illumines the landscape with its brilliance joy. Decorating and ornamenting homes with numerous trinkets and baubles like rangolis, candles, diyas, decorative lights and flower strings are used to embellish and enhance the décor.
Significance of lights
Illumination of homes with lights and skies with firecrackers is an expression of obeisance to the heavens for the attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, peace and prosperity. It was a belief that the sound of firecrackers is an indication of the joy of the people living on earth, making the gods aware of their plentiful state, on the scientific basis it was believed that the fumes produced by the crackers kill a lot of insects and mosquitoes, found in plenty after the rains.
However, there’s a thin line between moderation and overdoing. With growing air and noise pollution levels, it’s important for us to observe restraint and poise to make sure that we are as eco-friendly in our celebrations as we possibly can be.
From darkness unto light
In legends, myth and story of Deepawali lies the significance of the victory of good over evil. Diwali illuminates our homes and hearts. From darkness unto light — the light that empowers us to commit ourselves to good deeds, deeds those would bring us closer to divinity.
New ways of lighting it up
Diwali illuminations with lighted diyas bring brightness and joy with the hope of finding light in darkness, achieving knowledge where there is ignorance, and spreading love. Light is significant in Hinduism because it signifies goodness. Hence, during the Festival of Lights, deeps or oil lamps, are burned throughout the day and into the night to ward off darkness and evil. Until a decade ago, most city households would illuminate their houses with warm, sparkling bright earthen lamps. But now, in addition to these diyas, wax candles of various colours and forms, colored electric bulbs of different shapes and sizes have appeared on the scene.
Those who have a fancy for different types of earthen lamps can opt for handi lamps (earthen lamps shaped as handis or bowls). Some of these lamps have a designer touch with innovative designs glittering and sparkling on them. Then there are also the star-shaped earthen diyas that hold a large quantity of oil and five wicks in one lamp and are available at roadside stalls. Corners of rooms and puja rooms can be decorated and lighted up with brass, copper or metal lamps.
Candles also offer a wide choice. There are the regular rod-shaped candles available in small, medium and large sizes at all roadside kiosks and shops. For those looking for designer candles, there are flower-shaped and heart-shaped floating candles in soft hues. These scented candles, when placed in glass bowls filled with water, will float and burn for about two-and-a-half hours. Besides that markets are also flooded collection of glass gel candles that burn for days together and are drip-free.
Among these knick-knacks and Diwali accessories is the quintessential presence of the evergreen decorative bibelots that are string-lights. String lights, too, are the must-have elements of the Diwali season. Apart from the festive decoration, they are great to play around and experiment with interiors because not only are they cost-effective, but also readily available and can be used in numerous ways. Along with being the forever festive-festoons, string lights are so versatile in usage and thus can be put up tremendously to zing up any space.
Diwali is known for its sparkling beauty in darkness because of the lighting decors and items. People use different Diwali decoration items to make the arrangements even more captivating.
What People Think About Lights
Preeti Rathod, an interior designer, says, “Over a period of time, people have discovered a lot of modern ways of lighting up the space for Diwali. Candles in brass holders look elegant. Also, colorful LED bulbs in different shapes give a fresh feel.”
Lighting sways the overall ambience of the place by accentuating its warm decor. One can bring in an altogether new dimension to a space with the adding of chandeliers, fluorescent lampshades and other decorative lights. Lighting designs can be customised with proper projection, intensity and placement of lighting can rejuvenate and redefine any space in your home.
Meera Patil, a professional, says, “Diyas are one of the most important highlights of Diwali. These small oil lamps made of clay that has a cotton wick dipped in ghee is a must, not just in decorating for Diwali but in celebrating it itself. It is probably the most important element among all Diwali decorations. In memory of their deceased as well as to worship deities, these oil lamps are being lit.”