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Diwali For the First-Timers

By Anjum Choudhry Nayyar, 19 Oct, 2017
  • Diwali For the First-Timers

Three tips for those celebrating the festival for the first time this year

 
 
 
 
Known as the Festival of Lights, Diwali unites people from around the world in a celebration of the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and hope over despair. Many South Asians celebrate, and this year it falls on October 19. No matter your faith, everyone can share in the joy of Diwali by coming together with family and friends. 
 
Here’s my advice and tips for those celebrating for the first time this year.
 
 
 

Sharing the light

 
True to its name, Diwali is a time when those celebrating the occasion decorate their homes with lit diyas and other festive lights. Light is a symbol of unity and an invitation for 
everyone to share in the joy of the festival. If you’re attending a Diwali celebration, consider taking a personally designed diya or another light source as a gift to the host. It is also customary to celebrate with neighbours with 
some backyard fireworks.
 
 
 
 

Get cooking

 
A meatless celebration, Diwali is known for its sweets, snacks and savoury treats. Mithai and samosas are among the many food items that are typically prepared, along with sweets such as mohanthal and patishapta. These may sound difficult to make, but finding the ingredients is as easy as visiting your local Real Canadian Superstore or No Frills locations where you can pick up authentic South Asian brands along with the rest of your 
groceries at low prices. 
 
 

Prepare your home 

 
The lead up to Diwali includes a thorough cleansing of the home, so why not use it as an opportunity for a fall cleaning? Take inventory of what you need and what you can part with. It’s a Diwali ritual to clean and decorate with flowers and candles or even fresh paint. During Diwali, celebrants pay particular attention to the rangoli, which is made at the entrance to a home, and often decorate it with vibrant colours or flowers. A bright potted plant at your front door is the perfect Diwali addition.
 
Anjum Choudhry Nayyar is an award-winning journalist and editor-in-chief of Masalamommas.com.

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