Diwali Wikipedia “The Festivals of Lights”
India is a diverse country known for its culture and festivals. Here we talk about one of India’s most widely celebrated festival that has rooted deeply inside the history of India. Diwali or Deepavali known as the festival of lights, is an ancient Indian festival celebrated every year. Not only in India other countries like Fiji, Guyana, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Trinidad and Tobago etc. It is an official holiday on this day across the country.
Diwali is a 5 days festivals in many regions of India. Diwali night is a darkest night as it is centering on the new moon. Diwali is celebrated as the end of Hindu lunar month of Ashvin and the start month of Kartika. Typically Diwali is celebrated in the end of October or in the first half of November.
Diwali Celebrations begins days or weeks in advance, formally begins two days before the night of diwali and ends two days thereafter. The five days of Diwali are as follow.
Day 1 : Dhanteras
It is celebrated in the Northern and western part of India, it starts the five days festival. Houses and business premises are cleaned, renovated and decorated, rangoli were made on the entrance of homes and offices. Boys and men of the family are get busy in lightening the house and buying crackers and candles for Diwali. In the night of Dhanteras, Diyas are kept burning all through night to honor Devi Lakshmi and Dhanvantari. Many people buy silver, gold coins, ornaments and utensils.
Day 2 : Naraka Chaturdasi
The second day of Diwali also, called as Choti Diwali. According to literature of Hindu, Asura Narakasura was killed by Lord Krishna, Satyabham and kali on this day. The festival is celebrated in early morning with religious rituals and festivities.
Day 3 : Lakshmi Puja
Third day is the main festival day of Diwali, people wear new clothes. In the evening lakshmi puja were take place. People offer sweets, dry fruits and fruits to Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Saraswati. Then distribute sweets in the neighborhood, Diyas are lit in every part of home to remove the darkness from the the house. After puja and sweet distribution done, fire crackers are blown. Small children lit the light crackers and enjoy the night with full family.
Day 4 : Padwa, Balipratipada
The day after Diwali is celebrated as Padwa, this is a ritual celebrated the love and mutual devotion between husband and wife. The husband give gifts to his respective spouse. In many communities newly married couple are invited to the home for special meals.
Day 5 : Bhai Duj or Bhaiya Dooji
Bhai Dooj or Bhai tike (Nepal) or Bhaiya Dooji is the last day of the Diwali festival. It celebrates the sister-brother loving relationship in the same spirit of Raksha Bandhan but with different rituals. The day emphasizes the love and lifelong between siblings.
Diwali Significance & Celebrations
The festival of lights spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness or wining of Good over Evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair. People clean their homes, decorates them with lights. People purchase gifts, clothes and sweet for their loved ones and family members. Diwali is celebrated by Hindu, Jain, Sikh and some Buddhists all community have stories related to the Diwali. But they all symbolise the victory of Good over evil and victory of light over darkness.
In Hindus :The World celebrate Diwali in honor of the return of Lord Rama from 14 years exile, after defeating Ravana. People honour Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana by illuminating their path with Diyas. Also, Diwali is linked with Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth and prosperity) was married to Lord Vishnu on this auspicious day. Along with Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha (who symbolizes ethical beginning and fearless remover of obstacles), Saraswati (Goddess of music , literature and learning) and Kubera (God of Book-keeping, wealth and treasury management).
While in the eastern region of India, goddess Kali is worshiped instead of Goddess Lakshmi and festival is known as kali puja. In India’s Braj and north Central regions, Lord Krishna is worshiped on Govardhan. The feast of Govardhan puja or Annakoot is celebrated by offering 56 or 108 cuisines were made for Lord Krishna and then shred with local communities.
In Sikhism : It is celebrated as bandi chhor divas. On this day Guru Govind singh ji freed himself, along with some hindus rajahs from Gwalior fort from the Mughal emperor, Jhangir. They all arrived at Golden Temple Amritsar, from that day sikh celebrate this festival every year.
In Jainism : The last Tirthankar of this era, attained Nirvana on this day at Pavapuri. According to Kalpasutra by Acharya Bhadrabahu many gods were present to Illuminating the darkness.
In Buddhism : the newar people of Nepal, who are Buddhist celebrates the festival through chanting mantras and remembering ashoka conversion to Buddhism after Kalinga war.
Asato ma sat gamaya | (असतो मा सद्गमय ।)
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya | (तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।)
Mṛtyor ma amṛtam gamaya | (मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।)
Om shanti shanti shantihi || (ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥)
Prayer English Translation
From untruth lead us to Truth.
From darkness lead us to Light.
From death lead us to Immortality.
Om Peace, Peace, Peace.
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