Diwali is popularly know as the festival of lights ,It is the most celebrated festival in India and it is also a day of national holiday in India . Hindus have several significant events associated with Diwali . The most popular legend/event I grew-up to believe in is the , return of Lord Rama from Vanvas/exile/banishment after spending 14 years in a jungle .
Everyone was joyous and celebrated his return by lighting Diya's and eating sweets. His return from Vanvas signifies the triumph of good over evil. Diwali according to the Hindu calender is a celebration which is spread over 5 days. Starting between September & October and ending between October & November. The first day is DhanTeras, which is today and let me throw some light on this festival for my non -Indian readers -What Dhanteras stands for- Dhan meaning wealth and Teras signifies the 13th (terah) lunar day krishna paksh in the hindu month of Kartik. The last day is Yama Dvitya which signifies the second day of the light half of Kartika. Each day of Diwali marks one celebration of the six principle stories associated with the festival. There is a very interesting legend attached to Dhanteras as well it goes like this
A newly wed wife saves her husband from a snake bite( Husbands horoscope predicted that on the 4th day of his marriage he would die of snake bite) So on the 4th day she lights all the diyas/lamps and gets out all her gold ornaments and gold coins and puts them on the entrance of his bedroom and sits all night singing songs and hymns and does not let her husband sleep. Yama the God of death comes disguised as a snake and his eyes gets dazzled by the brightness of diyas/lamps & the glitter from all the gold blinds him ,thus he was not able to enter the bedroom and he waits there listing to all the melodious songs & hymns and quietly leaves at dawn :)
Therefore the significance of adorning the house with diyas/lights came into existence and buying precious metal on this day is also considered very auspicious. Also because it is the 1 st day of the 5 day long Diwali festivities,it is celebrated with grandeur .
We worship Goddess Lakshmi ( Goddess Of Wealth) & Lord Ganesha( remover of obstacles) on this day and seek their blessings for a peaceful & prosperous life :)
I have prepared walnut sweet to grace the onset of Diwali festivities. The refrigerator is also loaded with different sweets from India .Thanks to my family and my husbands recent business trip to India. I am all geared for Diwali :) I will also buy something useful in metal today,I am sooooo excited :)!!!
This recipe is dedicated to Sadaf :) She is a pro at desserts & this is one of her recipes, she shared with me. Here goes:
Walnut Burfi /Halwa
Condensed Milk: 1 tin
Nido milk powder: 2 cups ( you can use the non fat also)
walnut powdered: 2 cups
butter: 2 sticks
Thin slices of almonds and pistachios to garnish
Take a big Kadai and melt 2 sticks of butter. Now to this add two cups of nido milk powder and cook till it gets a nice rich brown color.
Enjoy the walnut burfi with friends& family and I wish everyone a very happy Diwali :)