One of the most widely celebrated holidays for people of Indian descent living both in India and in the diaspora is Diwali. The five day celebration falls in October and November and takes its name from the Sanskrit word that translates to ‘row of lights’. Also known as Deepavali and the ‘Festival of Lights’, this festival symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. Diwali typically lasts for five days and is a time for family gatherings, religious ceremonies, feasting, and the exchange of gifts.
While the festival is celebrated with pujas, lighting of lamps, creating rangoli and feasting on sweets, a crucial part is exchanging gifts. The tradition of gifting during Diwali is special and considered as a symbol of love and goodwill. Traditional Diwali gifts include sweets, dry fruits, clothing, and decorative items. This extends to giving to the less fortunate. People often donate to charity, help those in need, and provide food and gifts to the underprivileged. Another fairly common practice during Diwali is purchasing and wearing new clothes. Celebrate the ‘Festival of Lights’ with these unique and thoughtful Diwali gift ideas.
Traditional Diwali Gifts
When selecting a Diwali gift, it's important to consider the recipient's preferences and tastes. Additionally, be mindful of the cultural and religious significance of Diwali, which is a time of light, positivity, and the celebration of good over evil. Gifting items that align with these themes is often well-received. Traditional Diwali gifts include traditional Indian sweets and dry fruits including ladoo, barfi, and assorted dry fruit boxes. One can even turn this into a gift hamper that may consist of a combination of sweets, dry fruits, chocolates, and decorative items. These hampers can be beautifully packaged and make for an impressive gift.
- Personalized gifts: Photo frames, custom-made candles, or engraved utensils can add a personal touch to your Diwali gifting.
- Gift Cards: If you're unsure of the recipient's preferences, consider gift cards to their favorite stores or online shopping websites.
- Books: For book lovers, a well-chosen book or a set of books by a favorite author can be a delightful gift.
- Ganesha or Lakshmi Idols: Statues or idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi are considered auspicious and are commonly exchanged as gifts during Diwali.
- Plants: Gifting indoor plants or decorative planters can be a thoughtful and eco-friendly choice.
Gift Ideas For Family
New clothes are often worn during Diwali. Gifting clothing items like sarees, kurtas, or ethnic wear is a thoughtful gesture. Lashkaraa’s picks will make it easier for you to select ethnic occasion wear ensembles for you and your loved ones. For the bold and beautiful, choose the Black and Gold Embroidered Brocade Anarkali. It’s the perfect evening wear for the festivities. For more freedom of movement, go for a gharara set like the Mint Green Embroidered Peplum Style Gharara ideal for both day and night events. Lashkaraa’s Festive Edit 2023 called ‘Rang’ has a wide range of occasion wear ensembles to wear during the five day Diwali festivities. If you want to go OTT with your Indian outfit, try the Yellow Embroidered Brocade Lehenga to personify the ‘golden hour’ look and feel. A statement making and head turning style would be the Purple Embroidered Brocade Lehenga. Don’t forget the classic silhouette – saree. A saree is forever and a brocade one can form an heirloom worthy piece too. Lashkaraa’s Blue Embroidered Brocade Saree and the Purple Embroidered Brocade Saree will make for stunning Diwali presents. Other gifts for family may include:
- Jewelry: A popular and cherished Diwali gift, especially for women, one can gift traditional gold or silver jewelry, or contemporary pieces to suit the recipient’s taste.
- Electronics: High-tech gadgets like smartphones, tablets, or headphones can make for extravagant Diwali gifts for loved ones.
- Home Appliances: Useful kitchen appliances, gadgets, or home decor items are practical gifts that can be appreciated year-round.
- Art and Crafts: Handcrafted items, paintings, and artisanal products are unique and appreciated gifts.
- Games and Toys: For kids and families, board games, toys, or puzzles can provide hours of entertainment.
Gift Ideas For Friends
To friends, consider gifting decorative items like wall hangings, torans (door hangings), rangoli stencils, or framed art. These can add a festive touch to your friend’s home. Evil eye gifts are particularly popular at the moment and make for a pretty and thoughtful gift for anyone. For friends who enjoy games, consider gifting board games or puzzles that they can enjoy with their family. Cultural or spiritual gifts items like idols or religious books can be a meaningful gift, particularly if your friend is spiritually inclined. If you’re unsure of your friend's preferences, gift cards to their favorite stores or online shopping websites give them the flexibility to choose. Additionally, a heartfelt Diwali card or a personal message can add a special touch to your gift.
Gifting Etiquette During Diwali
When participating in Diwali gift-giving, it's important to follow certain etiquette to ensure your gifts are well-received and to maintain the spirit of the festival. Here are some gifting etiquette tips for Diwali:
Give from the Heart: The most meaningful gifts come from the heart. Choose gifts that you believe will genuinely bring joy to the recipient.
Respect Recipient Preferences: Consider the recipient's preferences, tastes, and needs when selecting a gift. Try to choose something that aligns with their interests and lifestyle.
Be Mindful of Religious Differences: Diwali is celebrated by people of various religious backgrounds. If you are giving gifts to friends or colleagues from diverse backgrounds, opt for neutral and non-religious gifts.
Avoid Re-Gifting: Re-gifting, or giving away something that you received as a gift, is generally considered impolite. Choose a new and thoughtful gift for each recipient.
Gift Exchanges at Work: In a professional setting, check if there are any company policies or guidelines regarding gift-giving. Keep your gifts appropriate, modest, and non-personal to maintain professionalism.
Remember Your Hosts: If you're invited to a Diwali celebration at someone's home, it's customary to bring a small gift as a token of appreciation for the hospitality. Sweets, fruit baskets, or flowers are good choices.
Thank-You Notes: If you receive a gift, it's polite to send a thank-you note or express your gratitude in person. A gesture of appreciation goes a long way.