Many people celebrate the holiday in their own unique ways, but it's generally a time for family, performing acts of dana (charitable giving) and Seva (selfless service), deep cleaning and decorating the home, performing religious ceremonies, stringing lights, and reflecting on core values.
Five days may be devoted to the celebrations, each with its unique significance:
On the first day of Dhanteras,
which is devoted to the goddess Lakshmi, people frequently clean their homes and create rangolis or kolam, which are elaborate, multicoloured designs produced on the floor using flowers, powder, rice, or sand. They often purchase and prepare Indian sweet and savoury dishes for sharing.
Chhoti Diwali or Kalichaudas,
The second day, often known as "little Diwali," is frequently devoted to preparations for the biggest festival, which occurs on the third day. People also pray for the spirits of their deceased ancestors, and many exhibits Diya clay lamps.
The third and biggest of the five days of Diwali includes wearing new clothing, visiting a temple to do a puja, or worship service, lighting Diyas and other lights about the home, and watching fireworks displays. It is a time for meeting with family and friends, dining, and playing card games, particularly.
Annakut, Padwa, and Govardhan Puja,
For many communities in India, the fourth day of Diwali is the first day of the New Year, a time to express gratitude for the previous year, anticipate the next year, and exchange little presents. For a prosperous new year, some individuals do pujas. This day may also be devoted to the relationship between men and wives, in honour of Rama and Sita.
This day may also be devoted to spouses and wives in honour of Rama and Sita's love.
Bhai Duj, Bhai Beej,
The fifth and final day of Diwali commemorates the link between sisters and brothers, therefore family members will often share a meal and pay a visit on this day.