In the city of pompous culture and serene divinity, Diwali is one of the most awaited festivals. This Indian festival is associated with various Hindu gods as per the mythology and region, yet an occasion to celebrate “victory of light over darkness, good over evil”. The traditional custom among people during Diwali is rangoli decorations, sharing of sweets, bursting crackers and a night full of festivities and fun. Lighting of oil lamps-Diyas, is the main highlight of the festival of light; Diwali. Majority celebrate Diwali in commemorating the return of Sri Rama, Sita and Lakshmana to Ayodhya from exile.
Diwali is a three day festival in Mangalore, of which the first day is Naraka Chathurdashi marking the slaying of demon king Narakasura by Goddess Kali. Mangaloreans celebrate this day of the festival by applying coconut oil all over and taking a head bath in hot water. This is believed to set our body strong and ready for the coming winter. Next day is the day of welcoming Bali Chakravarty to bless the native crop lands. At night the traditional calling song is sung with lighting of diyas, beside the paddy field. This custom is followed every year in rural parts of Mangalore. On the day of Amavasya (new moon) Lakshmi Puja is celebrated. On this day shops, cows are worshiped and Goddess Lakshmi is welcomed to our homes.
The glee of Diwali in Mangalore is best seen in the lighted Goodu Deepas (lanterns). Goodu Deepa making competitions are held throughout the city lights of Diwali. Many families go for pilgrimage during this festival. But this year due to covid this festival will have a different outlook. For a festival of light, the city of Mangalore enjoys flaunting away in new clothes, decorations and sales. Diwali is the time when the shops shell out discounts, people go out shopping, relatives visit homes. Covid pandemic has challenged this Diwali a lot of sales and purchases. Though no crackers, travel and gifts exchange, the warmth of Diwali has still not left hearts. There won’t be a burst of crackers but a blast of snug and pleasant greetings awaits this Diwali.