Diwali is the festival of lights, celebrated widely across the world in the Hindu tradition. It is a time used to celebrate the victory of light over darkness, clear knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. It is a time to recognize the dark times within oneself, and to summon the light from within to call forth prosperity, joy, and courage.
Whether you’re Hindu or not, Diwali is a beautiful time to set intentions for a light filled, prosperous life ahead. Here are five simple ways to celebrate Diwali today:
1. Light Candles
Coming from the Hindu story of Ramayan, where Rama and Sita made their way back to their kingdom with the help of lit lanterns (called Diyas)– the tradition is to light candles within the home to bring in more light. Today you can practice this simple, yet reverent tradition of lighting candles in the home, summoning a warm, glowing energy into your home.
2. Meditate / prayer / journaling
The celebration of light is the perfect time to reflect back on darkness. Take time to meditate and journal about the past year. What was hard in the past year? And what did you learn from it? Were there times when you felt lost? Were there times when you felt stuck? Take the time to reflect on these times of darkness, and celebrate the light. Recognizing that without darkness, there is no light. Without evil, there is no good. Recognize those moments of darkness to celebrate the times of overcoming them.
3. Set Intention
After reflecting and celebrating the darkness, now set your intention of light. Take a moment to close your eyes, and visualize light streaming down from the top of your head, melting down into the rest of your body. Visualize bright light filling up every cell of your body, sending you sensations of warmth, as though you were laying out in the sunshine. Once you feel light within the body, take a moment to cultivate an intention. Ask yourself the question: What does my heart long for? Rather than thinking of an intention, allow yourself to feel into your heart space. Allow the intention to come from a sensation of feeling, rather than thinking.
4. Celebrate with sweets
Another part of the Diwali tradition is to celebrate with sweets. In India, you would traditionally indulge in desserts called mithai or balushahi, but feel free to indulge in anything that sweetens up your soul! I personally will indulge in chocolates and homemade chai.
Finally, an important tradition for Diwali is to take time to clean. Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and abundance, is also a celebrated icon for Diwali. When praying and calling upon the Lakshmi Deity, we are asking for prosperity and abundance. Lakshmi is notoriously known for her beauty and preference for cleanliness! It is believed that Lakshmi will not enter a messy home, so take the time to clean the house, to invite in the energy of the Goddess Lakshmi.