Seven ways to celebrate Diwali in a different manner

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People thronging markets; relatives/ friends busy exchanging gifts and sweets; children bursting crackers; illuminated building and homes – all signaling that the festival of lights, Diwali is here. While these are all conventional ways of celebrating Diwali, how about doing something different this year? Below are seven such ways to help you enjoy the festival like never before:

1. Buy a gift for yourself

While it is nice to gift your loved ones on a festival, it is important to pamper yourself. After all, you are your best friend. So before you think of bringing smile on other person’s face, learn to smile yourself.  Buy yourself a new phone, a new dress, a new handbag – anything that you have long desired. The idea is to treat yourself, to feel special.

2. Organise competition 

While crackers may be fun, they also lead to increase in pollution. The least we can do to save our Earth is not add to the existing pollution levels. But then what will people, especially children do and how will they celebrate the festival? Well, we have a solution. How about organising community competitions both for children as well as adults? Some competition ideas are rangoli competition, decoration competition, flower arrangement competition, talent hunt etc.

3. Donate/ Spend time with old people

Things that you don’t need, give them to underprivileged people – clothes, books, games, anything that you haven’t used for 2-3 years can easily be given away. If you can think of no such thing, then how about spending some time with them – visit an orphanage and play with kids or listen to the stories of old people who live in old-age homes. Light diyas, distribute gifts and sweets, spread joy and spend some happy moments with them.

4. Host a lunch/dinner party for less privileged

While we often plan dinner or lunch for our loved ones, how about hosting a party for orphan children. The smiles on their faces will not only brighten up your day but will stay with you all through the year.

5. Put aside phones, log off from social media

Diwali won’t come every day. So immerse yourself in the present. Take a break from phone, social media for a day and spend some beautiful moments with your loved ones, with real people.

6. Try cooking/ use biodegradable crockery

Help the lady of the house. Festivals are most busy time for the woman of the house. She has to prepare special meals, sweets for everyone. So how about joining her in her work? Or better still, why not try your hand at some special delicacy?

Make the meals more appetizing by serving it the old traditional and eco-friendly way – in place of plates and glasses, use banana leaves and earthen glasses.

7. Go natural – the traditional way!

Light your house with diyas: Isn’t it beautiful to see colourful diyas burning in rows? Not only will it give a different look, it will also save your electric bill. In fact, try to buy these earthen lamps from NGOs if you can so that the money spent by you reaches the needy ones.

Opt for eco-friendly rangoli colours: Avoid using chemical based paints or colours. And try not to use any food items like pulses, flour etc., for we live in a world where hundreds and thousands sleep without food every night. Instead use flowers, turmeric, dried leaves, vermillion, diyas, etc.

Wish you all a happy Diwali!

The story was originally published on October 26, 2017

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