“Mu Mitha Kijiye”

Compiled by Parimita Barooah Bora
Monday, October 16, 2017

Everyone is all aware of the phrase “Mu Mitha Kijiye” whenever any happy and favourable occasion occurs. People say this because sweets are a integral element of every joy and happiness celebrated in this country. Whether it is a festival, birth of a child, new car, getting married, good result, success in business ; sharing sweets is a tradition which will always remain so. Have you ever thought why we give sweets on Diwali? Why are sweets an integral part of Diwali celebration? Is this just a tradition or is there something else? Diwali the festival of Lights and fireworks is also a festival of ethnic sweets. It is hard to imagine celebrating Diwali without thinking about giving sweets. From your neighbour to your best friend, it is the must have gift that you buy to celebrate the occasion. But, have you ever thought to yourself, “Why do we give sweets on Diwali?

Diwali is synonymous with 'mithai' or sweets. Diwali is also the time for family reunions, lighted diyas, colourful rangoli, vibrant apparels, and mouth-watering sweets - all symbolic of the happy occasion. With the spirit of Diwali permeating the society, traditional households gear up for the special preparation of sweets and delicacies. Diwali is a joyful time for people to gather and celebrate the triumph of good over evil. And food plays a very important role in the celebrations. Therefore, Diwali without sweets and savories cannot be imagined.

It is also the festival of Laxmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth. It is believed that Goddess Laxmi visits everyone during Diwali and brings peace and prosperity to all. On the night of Diwali Lakshmi-Pujan is performed in the evenings. A traditional Pujan is performed after sunset in every home. Five pieces of ghee diyas (lamps) are lit in front of the deities, naivedya of traditional sweets are offered to the Goddess and devotional songs are sung in praise of Goddess Laxmi. After Deepawali Puja people light diyas (lamps) in their homes, its relevance being bringing light to every darkness of the world. Mithai form a significant part of the Lakshmi and Ganesh pooja conducted on Diwali. The Gods are offered different types of Mithai as `prashaad' or `naivedyam', which is then distributed among family members and friends.

Diwali also marks the end of harvest season of the year. This time, farmer-households assess the rewards from their crops. Farmers are thankful for the plentiful bounty of the year gone by, and when you have such a good harvest, you would share your happiness with everybody else – a good reason why we started exchanging gifts and sweets.

When there are such ecstatic times, what we Indians commonly do? We treat each other with sweets – a perfect reason to exchange sweets.

In the Hindu calendar, it is the start of the New Year. In short, the sweets we give at time of Diwali are for wishing our friends and family a prosperous and happy new year. After all, who doesn’t love a sweet year ahead?

So what is you think on gifting sweets on Diwali? Can we replace sweets with something spicy (say pakoda , kachori or masala vada)? No never !

Parimita Barooah Bora is a onetime lecturer and currently she is a stay-at-home mom. Having done her post graduation in English, Education and Travel n Tourism, she taught for few years until her relocation to Kuwait. She likes to share the experiences of her life as a freelance contributor to various newspapers, magazines and websites. Now, as a freelance writer and teaching children in the evenings at home keeps her busy. Member of IWIK Team.
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