Diwali 2019- Places to go for shopping in Delhi
Diwali, better known as Deepavali and it’s the most significant celebration of the year for Hindus all around the world.
The term “Diwali” is typically used in North India while “Deepavali” is a Sanskrit word with 3,500 years of history that is widely used in South India.
With a meaningful translation to “a row of lamps”, the five-day Festival of Lights is India’s largest holiday to celebrate the victory of good over evil and light over darkness.
The ancient Hindu festival is celebrated throughout the whole of India and other parts of the world where Hindus reside.
But nothing beats immersing yourself in the festivities in New Delhi, the capital of India.
In this guide, you will learn all you need for a fruitful trip to New Delhi during Diwali 2019.
When Is Diwali?
Diwali is based on the Hindu lunar calendar and usually takes place in October or November, depending on the cycle of the moon.
In 2019, the festival will commence on 25 October and end on 29 October, with the main celebrations falling on the 27 October.
Which explains the one-day public holiday for the festival.
Why New Delhi?
As the capital of India since 1931, New Delhi is one of the most fascinating cities in the world.
The unique blend of “old meets new” is evident as you will see ancient religious structures, palaces, forts and beautiful gardens alongside modern nightclubs, a diverse range of international cuisines
This is definitely the place you will want to be in for the annual Diwali celebrations.
HOW IS DIWALI CELEBRATED?
Each day of Diwali holds a different meaning, with different celebrations or rituals conducted.
DAY 1: DHANTERAS
This is the start of Diwali, symbolizing the Day of Fortune.
Traditionally, it is an auspicious day to buy gold and silver.
It is also the day when homes are cleaned to welcome and worship Lakshmi, The Goddess of Fortune.
DAY 2: CHOTI DIWALI
Also known as the Day of Knowledge, it is believed that Lord Krishna and Goddess Kali slew the Narakasura demon and rescued 16,000 captive princesses on this day.
Coloured rice is used to make rangoli in doorways and courtyards of homes, accompanied by firecrackers to celebrate this day.
DAY 3: DIWALI
The main celebration takes place on the Day of Diwali. Numerous diyas (small cup-shaped oil lamps made of baked clay) and candles are lit in front and inside the houses of Hindus.
Fireworks are set off as a highlight of the festival.
Such acts symbolise the victory of good over evil, as the people believe that Lord Rama defeated Ravana demon in a bid to rescue his wife on this day.
DAY 4: ANNAKUT
This is the first day of a new year for businesses in many regions.
In North India where New Delhi is, food is piled up at Hindu temples to commemorate Lord Krishna’s defeat of Indra, the Rain God.
The mountain of vegetarian food is offered to Lord Krishna as a act of gratitude during the Govardhan Puja Festival.
DAY 5: BHAI DUJ
The fifth and last day of the festival is the day to celebrate the love between siblings.
Traditionally, this was a day when brothers could visit their married sisters’ homes, to show them respect and offer protection.
Nowadays, this is the day when siblings get together for a meal to honour the bond between them.
WHAT TO DO IN NEW DELHI FOR UNIQUE DIWALI EXPERIENCES
CELEBRATE WITH A LOCAL INDIAN FAMILY IN DELHI
Sip chai (tea) and savour light Indian snacks as you learn about the ancient Hindu festival while chatting with the hosts.
Join in the hustle and bustle of festive shopping in a local market and experience aarti (the Hindu religious worship ritual) at a temple with your host.
You can also receive a henna tattoo and lit up diyas and candles.
End the memorable day as you join the locals in lighting firecrackers on the street and catch the dazzling fireworks display at night.
ATTEND A TAASH PARTY
In case you are wondering, a taash party is a gathering of a group of friends and family during Diwali.
Everyone dresses up for the occasion, revels and gambles with an array of card games.
Diwali in New Delhi is only complete when you attend a taash party and play the most popular teen patti (three-card brag).
Hindus believe that gambling during Diwali, particularly on the first day brings good luck and wealth.
This is because Lakshmi, the Goddess of Fortune, may shower blessings in your house for the entire year.
A little bit of gambling is fun, but do remember not to play high stakes and overindulge in the activity.
The best place to join in this fun exercise? Head to one of the popular farmhouses of Chattarpur.
SHOP TO YOUR HEART’S CONTENT AT THE DIWALI MELA AND MARKETS
In the lead up to Diwali, the capital is buzzing with tons of mela (fairs) and markets.
Afterall, this is the time of the year when you spring clean your house, purchase new clothes, and attend fun taash parties.
Lajpat Nagar Market, New Delhi
Lajpat Nagar market is one of the most crowded places during Diwali season. The market has a lot to offer from painting, décor items, clothes to food, toiletries and much more. During the festive season, the market turns more vibrant, giving a sense of festive vibes. It’s one of the oldest markets in India and is abuzz with shoppers, all wandering around its roadside stalls and showrooms.
Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi
Chandni Chowk, one of the liveliest and colourful markets in Delhi covers everything from designer clothes to jewellery, daily products and a lot more. Apart from shopping complexes, the place is globally recognised for its food scene as there is a chain of old restaurants and sweet shops which have been in business for centuries now. During the festive season, the place turns all the more vibrant and crowded. One will find beautiful candles, lamps, pots, fairy lights, etc all over the market. One must surely visit Chandni Chowk to get the Diwali shopping done.
Atta Market, Noida
The famous Atta market is truly a shopper’s paradise in every sense. During Diwali, the market gets all lit up. One will find every item including lamps, fairy lights, candles, diyas, Laxmi Ganesha idols and all the decorative stuff during the Diwali season. The market areas also cover big showrooms and shops. One can get everything for the whole family in one place. One can go in the day time to avoid crowded lanes. Also, try to bargain with the shopkeepers, they will surely come down.
Dilli Haat, INA
Dilli Haat in INA is one of the most famous and one of my favorite markets to go for Diwali shopping. The place has got a wide range of handicraft products from different Indian states. From those colourful lamps to that lovely diyas, along with other items of Diwali decor, the place has everything to feed. This permanent exhibition ground is a hub of artists selling out of box things at a fixed price.
Other than that, just be merry and soak in the festive mood like the locals!