Home India Travel GuideHow to Decorate for Diwali: The Top 7 Decorations

How to Decorate for Diwali: The Top 7 Decorations

Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, is one of the biggest holidays celebrated in India. As the purpose behind Diwali is to celebrate the victory of light over dark, this 5-day holiday includes the use of many lights and glowing decorations.

Some popular decorations include clay oil lamps called diyas, candles, fairy lights, and lanterns.

Other Diwali decorations welcome the Goddess Lakshmi, who is the main deity worshipped during this festival. They include colorful designs made with flower petals called rangoli and wall hangings made from marigolds and mango leaves called toran.

Diwali Diyas, diwali rangoli, decorations

1. Diyas

A diya (pronounced dee-ya) is a small clay oil lamp and the main symbol of Diwali. Diyas are usually made of earth and have cotton wicks that sit in a pool of ghee or vegetable oil to help them burn. Many are sold plain but others can be painted with beautiful patterns and colors.

Diyas are such an important part of the holiday that its name is actually derived from these little lanterns. Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word Deepavali, which means the row of lights. "Deep" is the Sanskrit word for diya and "avali" means row.

2. Diwali Rangoli

A rangoli is a design that is made by hand and is created on the ground using colorful materials such as dyed rice, flour, sand, or flowers. The purpose of this decoration is to welcome visitors into the home. Creating the rangoli is often the job of the women of the household and the designs are passed down through families from one generation to the next.

Rangoli designs can be geometric, shaped like flowers, or even resemble deities. During Diwali, most rangolis also include lit diyas. The base of the design is often made from flour to which vermilion, turmeric, and other natural colors can be added to make the background. Once the background is complete, the design is slowly added over a period of 2 to 3 hours.

3. Candles

4. String Lights

String lights, or Christmas lights, are the perfect modern Diwali decoration. Not everyone has the time and energy to decorate their homes with hundreds of candles or diyas and electric lights are also often safer and can be left on all night without worry.

During Diwali in India, it is common to see string lights decorating homes and markets as they are great for lighting up entire areas and creating a festive feeling. Certain markets such as the Khan Market in Delhi are particularly famous for their beautiful displays of string lights.

5. Diwali Torans

Torans, also known as Bandanwals, are decorative door hangings that are used during Diwali and are usually placed at the main entrance of homes. The purpose of these decorations is to welcome guests and especially the goddess Lakshmi so that she can bless the family with good luck and wealth. 

6. Paper Lanterns

Lanterns are an essential part of Diwali celebrations and people across the country will hang them outside their houses during the holiday. Paper lanterns are the most common type of lanterns used on Diwali as they are the easiest to make at home.

A fun activity for families is to make lanterns together all you need to do so is sticks, colored paper, and glue.

7. Marigold Garlands

Marigold flowers are sometimes called the ‘Herb of the Sun’ and they are known to have many benefits such as improving one's mood and warding off stress. In Hinduism, these orange and yellow flowers are considered auspicious especially for new beginnings and important life events.

Where to Buy Diwali Decorations in India

Diwali markets are the best place for people to shop for holiday decorations. These markets are especially busy and alive during the holiday and sell all kinds of items including string lights, posters, lamps, diyas, and idols of gods and goddesses. The best Diwali markets are often said to be found in Delhi.

Chandni Chowk and Dilli Haat are especially great places to go. If you visit these areas near the time of the holiday, you’ll find shops filled with aromatic candles, handicrafts, elegant traditional clothes, sweets, and beautiful gift boxes as well as plenty of decorations.


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