It's common for family and friends to drop around to each other's houses with boxes of homemade snacks.
3 Ways to Celebrate Diwali - wikiHow
Festive specialities include Bombay-mix like "chivda" , with countless variations each with a different name — I spotted "London mix" in a supermarket the other day , diamond-shaped "shakkarpara" , noodle-like "sev" , sweet, layered deep-fried discs "chirote" , and a range of sweet and savoury "puris" from puffed ones that look like UFOs, to ones dented with the back of a thin rolling pin that resemble the surface of the moon. My favourite snacks are nutty lentil flour discs called "mathiya", pretty spirals of "chakri" , and crescent moon shaped pasties known as "ghughra" or "karanji".
You can buy both mithai and Diwali snacks from Ambala , Royal and other Indian sweet shops around the country. If you've never tried them before, don't be afraid to give them a go. Ask for small tasters before you buy; most shops will be happy to oblige. Different speciality meals are traditionally cooked on different days of the festival, and these vary further depending on region. Generally speaking puris, traditionally deep-fried in expensive ghee and therefore rich in every sense, replace flatbreads; and are accompanied by a different dal, vegetable curry, fried titbits such as pakoras, collectively known as "namkeen" or "farsan", and a pudding on each day of the festival.
Many, though not all, Indians continue to eat vegetarian at this time of year. On the second day October 25 , associated with the elimination of evil spirits, specialities include anarasa, a rice-and-jaggery dish that can take up to seven days to prepare. Light, fluffy urad lentil pakoras are eaten alongside the milky rice pudding, kheer. On New Year's Day October 27 , "puris" may be partnered with "shrikhand" , a chilled pudding made from home-made yoghurt cheese; and mixed vegetable curries made with as many varieties of vegetables as possible, as this symbolises year-round culinary riches.
The day after the New Year October 28 is a celebration of the bond between brothers and sisters. This day marks the official opening of the Diwali celebrations and is considered a very auspicious day.
On this day, people do a lot of buying, especially gold, silver, and other valuable ornaments, new clothes and utensils. In the evening, families enjoy lighting crackers and lighten their homes with lamps and other colorful lights. This is kind of a Diwali before actual Diwali. The third day is the day of actual Diwali festivities, the biggest day in all five-day celebrations. On this day, people worship Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi. People light lamps, diyas, and scented candles in their homes, and many other significant buildings throughout the city.
After worshipping Goddess Lakshmi, people go to temples or other religious places based on their religion and then eat delicious foods and sweets. The mountain of food is representative of Govardhan Hill.
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Annakut is the symbol of the New Year. The fifth day of Diwali celebration is the Bhai Dooj. On this day, brothers visit their sisters and sisters prepare delicious sweets and other food items in honor of their brothers, wishing great happiness and success for them. There are some good stories behind why Diwali is celebrated.
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Nonetheless, the most popular story revolving around Diwali is from Hindu mythology is that the day symbolizes the return of Lord Rama, his wife Sita, and his younger brother Lakshmana to their homeland Ayodhya, from the exile of 14 years. It is the last day of the Hindu year in many regions, when businesses close old accounts. On this day, Lord Rama rescued his wife from the demon Ravana after an epic battle.
When he returned home, his people lit up his path home so he could return in the dark. Today, candles are lit to show the triumph of good over evil and homecoming. Gujarati Indians among others also light lamps in their windows to welcome Lakshmi into the home. Food is piled up at Hindu temples as an offering to Krishna in the festival of Govardhan Puja.
The mountain of food is symbolic of Govardhan Hill. In this traditional story, Krishna lifted the hill to shelter villagers from a flood caused by the vengeful Indra, King of Heaven.
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The same as Indra, Hindus learn to be humble in the face of the divine. This was traditionally one of the few days when brothers could visit their married sisters' homes, to ensure they were being well cared for. Much of the traditional gift-giving during Diwali is from men to women.