Diwali in South India
by Vikas Kamat
Diwali or the festival of lights, is perhaps the most prominent of all Indian festivals, and finds significance even outside of Hinduism, and we see that Jains, and Sikhs also observe it. Yet we see that in the Dravidan heartland, in South India, the festival is not observed with the same enthusiasm, and is even shunned. This article explores some of the Diwali traditions of South India in depth, and provides reasons why some Indians do not observe Diwali.
Diwali Festivities of South India
The festival of Diwali is associated with many legends. In the South, the most commonly observed legend is the killing of Narakasura by Krishna. So houses, especially bathrooms are cleaned, decorated, and an elaborate bath is taken by members. Elaborate herbal oils are applied to the body prior to the bathing ritual, and beautiful Rangoli designs are laid outside the doors.
© Vikas Kamat
Diwali is one of the rare festivals in South India, which is not celebrated in temples. It is rather celebrated at home with family members. Gifts are exchanged between in-laws and festive meals are consumed consisting of vegetarian delicacies and sweets.
Reasons for Shunning of Diwali
A number of Indians do not observe Diwali festival, their reasons varying from personal to philosophical. Here I am listing some of the main reasons why some people do not participate in the festivities of Diwali.
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