With health and safety restrictions relaxing as more and more people are vaccinated, there are many reasons to celebrate this Deepavali! We know you will be thinking about how much a private jet costs in India, but really you should be thinking about the wonderful celebration you will have with your family and friends when you arrive safely at your destination.
Airlines have noticed that this year, in particular, there has been a surge in flight bookings around Diwali and Deepavali. People are ready to embrace the celebration in style in some far-flung, exotic locations. In this article, we will take a look at which destinations are the most favoured this season.
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Before We Begin
Many people might be wondering what the difference is between Diwali and Deepavali if there is one. Well, let us fill you in. Diwali and Deepavali are two different celebrations that take place over an overlapping period of time. Diwali is a five-day-long festival that falls on Ashvina Amavasya and is celebrated mainly in Northern India. It marks the return of Lord Rama from his exile. At the same time, Deepavali is a four-day long festival that falls on Krishna Chaturdashi and is celebrated mostly in the Southern states and celebrates Krishna’s defeat of Narakasura. The word Diwali actually comes from the word Deepavali, which is derived from Sanskrit and means “a line of lamps”. Now that we have that out of the way, we can begin!
There can be no better place to celebrate Deepavali than on the banks of the Holy Ganges. Book a chartered flight to Varanasi and indulge in the constant stream of fireworks displays that are set off over the course of the festival. All along the ghats, you will see a procession of candles and diyas lighting your way. You can witness a special Ganga Aarti (a ritual in which prayers are offered to the Ganges) in the evenings and watch the possession of Hindu deities that celebrate this special time of year. The observance of this festival is very important in Varanasi, so the town becomes crowded. If you plan to book rooms to stay in during the festival, you should do this early to avoid disappointment.
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Celebrations are to be had in a few communities, including the Sikhs. If you visit Amritsar, the Abode of the Golden Temple, you will see incredible displays of lamps and candles all lit by devotees of the Sikh religion. For the Sikhs, this is the time of year when their sixth guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib, was released from prison in 1619. He and many other political and religious prisoners had been unjustly held captive, and his release was undoubtedly cause for celebration. Not only this but the foundation stone of the temple at Amritsar is said to have been laid during the festival in 1577; even more, cause to celebrate! The temple blazes with light, illuminating the night sky for miles around. It truly is a unique experience that many people are excited to be a part of.
Goa is well known as a party city but never is she more dressed up and beautiful than when she celebrates Diwali and Deepavali. Goa’s celebrations lean more towards Deepavali than Diwali, lifting Lord Krishna’s name high and being thankful that he could slay Narakasura. Horrifying effigies are erected throughout the city and burned the day before the celebrations commence in honour of the great defeat. There are a lot of cosmopolitan activities to take in in Goa over the festive period. You could try your hand at gambling in a floating casino, these vessels operate at full capacity during the festive period.
Mumbai is a busy, bustling city at the best of times, but over Deepavali, it is positively bursting at the seams! Decorations adorn every possible surface, leaving the whole city looking like a glorious birthday cake covered with candles. The people of Mumbai do try to take an eco-friendly approach to their celebrations, which is good to know as festival waste is always a cause for concern. There are a number of exquisitely preserved monuments within the city that are always dressed up beautifully for the celebration. This historic city is the perfect Deepavali destination.
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Usually known as The Pink City, Jaipur’s blushing cheeks turn yellow in the light of Deepavali celebrations. Sparkling lights are laced up trees, and over streets and balconies, not a home or business or marketplace is without a lantern to celebrate this glorious time of year. Many exciting Diwali tours take place in the city, so if you like to learn and explore while you are on holiday, this could be the place for you. Whether or not you are familiar with the festivals and their traditions, it can never hurt to see something as extraordinary as the celebration of Deepavali through new eyes.
If all the cacophony of the city celebrations seems like a bit much for you, why not opt for something a little more subdued? Visit Gujarat, a small rural village inhabited by a local tribe is a haven for tourists who prefer to experience a country off the beaten track. Not only can you celebrate calmly and reflectively, but you can also learn about the local cultures and the eco-friendly products that they make and use, honouring the Earth’s resources. You can learn to cook delicious organic meals or how to create a new kind of art.
Wherever you decide to fly to celebrate Deepavali or Diwali this year, remember to take the most important thing along on your trip: your family, of course! Nothing is more important than being with the ones you love at this special time of year. Stay safe and celebrate in style. We’ll see you in India!