How to celebrate Diwali and kali puja this year with Covid.
This time of the year there is always a positive cheer of Diwali celebration and Kali Puja. The elaborate Diwali party preparations around the Indian communities are popular. The young blood of our community is high on sweets and in the full zeal of party mode. And our dear oldies are high on the adrenaline of the stories of their youthful Diwali’s. Everyone is happy about the triumph of good over evil. Though Our millennial kids have a completely different take on Diwali. For them, it is all about fireworks, new dresses, and gifts. They barely know the difference between Dussehra and Diwali.
Anyways Diwali for me is also changing every year in dates, celebrations, and feelings. I used to spend all my Diwali vacations eating snacks and sweets. Later I was making handmade crafts like Diya or clay lamps, cards, wall hangings, Rangoli. Once I started college it was only about visiting family and spending time with them during Diwali. After marriage Diwali has become one big party with colleagues with huge food spreads in hotels and gifts exchanged.
After my son was born we have been celebrating Diwali puja at home expecting him to understand and learn about the festival and know our family traditions better. This year with the COVID scenario we will celebrate Diwali at home but with limited resources.
Here is my perfect 2020 Diwali party idea for all of you
Safety precautions during Diwali celebrations and Kali Puja
- The most important thing this year is SOCIAL DISTANCING. Keep at least 2 meters distance from other people. So we plan to avoid big gatherings. I suggest you should also check the latest residence country and city rules for all Parties and Puja
- Remember to ALWAYS WEAR MASKS and keep sanitiser handy. With young children avoid sanitizer and try to use wipes regularly to clean hands
- DO NOT USE SANITIZER while handling match sticks, oil lamps, crackers
- It’s best if you can SKIP CRACKERS. You might like to plant trees, get a new puppy, or spend time in other activities at home. Things like cleaning, decorating the house, the planning party are good to start
Hosting a Diwali Party Online
- We are staying in Dubai and even though authorities have allowed gatherings (read latest rules here) we are not hosting any Diwali party. Instead, we have made a PLAN for Online Diwali Celebrations with our extended families this year
- The most important thing for Diwali is Food, Decoration, and Outfits. So this year we have decided on a Theme for our Diwali Party. We had many options like Bollywood, Super Heros, Blue Color, Traditional. We chose the easiest one – traditional because all the family members could easily arrange their attires for this theme
- The Food we have decided to keep traditional – Paneer Tikka, Aloo Matar ki sabzi, Poori, Dahi Bada, Dal ka Halwa. So everyone follows this combination 1 Starter, 1 Veg curry, 1 bread, 1 side dish, 1 dessert
- Each of the kids will perform an act one of this – a poem or shloka recitation, singing, dance, magic show
- We have games for everyone which I will list down below and you can also play with your family easily.
Virtual Visit to Kali Puja Pandal
Having Stayed in Kolkata, Kali puja pandal visit after Diwali puja at home has also become a habit for us. Like Durga puja it may not be fancy pandals but the kali puja is an essential part of the culture. In normal times we could easily go out and visit a puja pandal. But this year all the festivals have been virtual celebrations only. So same follows for Kali puja. A virtual tour to our area Pandal is arranged by the society so we will be happy to stay connected.
Interesting Diwali reads from bloggers around the world
Gifts for Diwali, Bhai Duj, Kali Puja
- Our Culture is so giving that every festival is about exchanging gifts in one way or the other. This year we have thoughtfully ordered all gifts online which are delivered well ahead of time to all the family members
- Children – Dresses, Accessories, Candle Making kits, Soapmaking Kits, DIY Calendars, Gardening Sets, make up kits, Crackers, chocolates
- For the lovely Ladies – Lip balms(because obviously, lipsticks aren’t of much use) are a super hit. Dresses(I got 3), Perfumes, Hobby kits for drawing mandala and painting are good diwali gifts
- Gifts for Gentlemen – It’s easier to find gifts for ladies than for men. But we have found a few things which worked for us. T-shirts, Chocolates, Pens, Books, and Perfumes for men. perfumes are our all-time favorites for men and women of the house
- Hand Made Cards are core for bonding between family members. This year has been a lot of Mandala so I have prepared a mandala card for my family. Creating something from scratch adds love, positivity, and intent to do something for other person
Games and Competitions for Diwali Party
- Best Snacks of the Festival – We all are preparing so many things every day so whoever does it the best will win. Innovative snacks like – Disco Samosa, Choti Badusha, Chashni wali Gujiya are coming up on my Social media. Keep an eye on and follow me for more ideas from the family Diwali party
- Diwali Party Cooking Competition – Everyone Prepares the food for Diwali party, does a presentation, and clicks pictures. These pictures are shared in the group. Dadu and Dadi gets to choose who is the best
- Best Rangoli for kids – Using clay, rice, colors kids have to prepare rangoli so they can let others work in the day.
- Diwali Tambola is huge where we play for CASH – Prizes for tambola are named to make kids curious. Panchmukhi Patakha (early 5)– fastest one to get 5 numbers. Ram Rekha, Lakshman Rekha, Sita Rekha (top line, middle line, bottom line)-fastest one to get lines of the tickets. Ayodhya(Fullhouse)- fastest one to get all numbers of the tickets. Lanka (Second full house) – Second fastest one to get all numbers of the tickets
Creating memories together celebrating Diwali and Kali Puja
Every festival is about coming together and bonding. Make time for family and friends this year because it is the best gift for them. Take a short break from work. Plan the Diwali party with your kids and create their Diwali party memories for them to remember for life. Be grateful for your family and do the Lakshmi puja on this day.
Diwali Party Decoration
- Lights and lamps most important – Set up party lights, strings lights or tea light candles to lighten up the house. Celebrate Diwali and Kali Puja in a traditional way with lot of lights. Lights bring a lot of positivity, hope and happiness in house
- Create a stunning entrance – Use color Rangoli, flower arrangement, statues, pots, fountains, candles, etc. Make a your house entrance brighten up and look royal for who enters. Remember Lakshmi ji has to be impressed and invited into the house.
- Add any theme element to your furnishing – Use traditional bedcovers, table runners, cushions to add festive theme to your house. If you are not having those use any saree, dupatta, shawls for effects
- Set up a Snack station for kids and adults – Set up a Separate snack station for kids and adults. This will ensure you don’t have to keep putting things in and out every minute. Things to fill in are – dry fruits, mathri, sakhen, chakli, laddu, chocolates, chikki
- Water Counter – We all will be so busy that we forget drinking water. So, it’s important to set up a water counter, you can also put in detox water for the day
Checklist For Diwali Party
- Invite everyone and Set up a Google or zoom meet
- Order gifts for all
- Order crafts, flower, and rangoli essentials
- Create a handmade card for the family
- Order Tambola or play it online(create a game room online)
- Ready all your dresses
- Click all the pictures for the food competition
- Set up the snack bar and water counter
- Ready everything for Lakshmi puja
- SMILE and click pictures
REMEMBER TO SEND OUT DIWALI GREETINGS and share how you celebrate diwali and kali puja
Here is a short Diwali greetings video I shared last year on my social media
You can create a diwali card like this also