Diwali, one of my favorite festivals, is also known as Deepavali or festivals of lights. And for the fact, it is a widely celebrated festival in India for which everybody waits prepared with their crackers and trendy lights. Everyone has his or her plans ready what clothes they will wear and how they will decorate their house this time.
When is diwali Dates 2017 (5 Days Schedule)
October 17 Tuesday Trayodashi – Dhanteras (Dhantrayodashi, Yama deepdaan)
October 18 Wednesday Chaturdashi – Narak Chaturdashi (Kali Chaudas, Choti Diwali, Bengal Kali Puja, Roop Chaturdashi)
October 19 Thursday Amavasya – Main Diwali Pooja (Baddi Diwali, Lakshmi Puja)
October 20 Friday Pratipada – Govardhan Puja, Annakut
October 21 Saturday Dwitiya – Bhaiya Dooj
Why is diwali festival celebrated
The festival is celebrated by Hindus every year in the season of autumn, marking the starting of winters. It is a major festival in India and celebrated worldwide with an official holiday in every country where this festival is celebrated.
But, this does not show much of the significance of diwali festival, and its actual significance is shown by the mythological tales marking the victory and win of good over evil, knowledge over crime and unity over division.
Another tale that is quite associated with the day is the arrival of Lord Rama from his exile of 14 years in Ayodhya. He after defeating Ravan came back with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana.
Also Find: How to do laxmi puga at home on diwali
Rituals and culture of the deepavali festival
This festival is actually of 5 days, but the main day, the main celebration is done in the Karthik Month, where there is New Moon Night or Dark Night. There are many other rituals followed by the celebrations of Diwali and some per-celebrations too. Before this five days’ mega event, people clean their houses and renovate them in order to renovate it later.
On the main day, people dress up in new attires, perform Pooja, and decorate their houses with Diyas, that is, oil lamps. This is from where Diwali got its second name, Deepavali. Deepavali means the chain of Diyas or Arrays of Diyas. After performing all the rituals, people come out on the street to celebrate and light fireworks. The sky sees various colours on the night, and people share diwali greetings, wishes, messages, images and love by giving gifts and sweets to each other.
In India, for the stranded joints families, this is the auspicious occasion to come together and enjoy like one big unit!
The 5 days long event: Diwali celebration
Two days prior Diwali, the day is marked by Dhanteras, which is the day when Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped, and people buy precious metals like gold, silver, diamond, etc. The next day, followed by Dhanteras is Narak Chaturdashi, which is also known as Choti Diwali, is the day when people abort evil and lazy ways and clean the evil inside them. After Choti Diwali, there comes the Diwali – the important of all days as on this day, people perform puja and burst crackers. The fourth day is the Diwali Padwa or Govardhan Puja, which is celebrated to mark the healthy relationship between husband and wife. Last but not the least, comes the fifth day that is Bhai Dooj, which is celebrated for a beautiful bond between sisters and brothers. On this day, sisters pray for the long life of their brothers, followed by Tika ceremony.
Historical stories related to the diwali celebration
Diwali is not just a festival of one; it is celebrated by many, and for various reasons and according to several mythological tales. Here are the main tales mentioned in order to enlighten you more about this major festival of India.
- Ramayana: One of the main reasons for which Diwali is celebrated has been given by Ramayana. This Hindu epic tells about the victory of good over evil, where good was Lord Rama and evil was Ravana. It rotates around the Lord Rama, son of Dashratha, whose stepmother made him go on an exile of 14 years to which his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana have accompanied him. In the 14 years of exile, Lord Rama put an end to Ravan, an evil-minded Pundit, who kidnapped his wife, Sita. After his victory over Lanka, the Golden Palace of Ravana, Rama returned to Ayodhya along with his wife and brother. His arrival after the 14 years of exile was celebrated by lighting the oil lamps and firecrackers. And thus, since then, the day has been celebrated as Deepawali.
- King Bali and Vaman: Another story, which is less popular, yet exists in the tales, and it is about King Bali and Vaman. King Bali was a generous ruler, but he was quite goal-oriented. In order to know more about Bali, various lords pleaded Lord Vishnu to check the power of King Bali. On this request, Lord Vishnu descended on earth as a Dwarf priest, and there he asked King Bali since he was the master of the underworld, universe, and water, so, could he give him some place to stride? On this point, King Bali laughed, agreed, and thought that how much area he can take, as he is a dwarf! But after he agreed Lord Vishnu came in his real avatar and captured the water and the universe and King Bali was sent to the underworld.
- Lord Krishna and Narkasur: Narkasur was a demon covered with filth and dirt. He used to kidnap the beautiful young women and forced them to live with him. He had captured the whole Earth, and everywhere, there was only sadness and cries for the rescue. Finally, Lord Vishnu had to descend on Earth in his 8th incarnations of Lord Krishna. Lord Vishnu killed him on the day and released all women and thus the world was filled with joy.
- Sikh Festival: In Sikh religion, Diwali is celebrated and marked as the day when sixth Guru of Sikhism, Guru Hargobind Ji returned to Gwalior from the confinement. In order to welcome him in the city and keep the hopes of the religion, people lit the city with the chain of oil lamps till the Harminder Sahib, which is often referred, as the Golden Temple, to honour the Guru.
- Jain Festival: In Jainism, Diwali is one of the most important festivals for their people and followers,and this occasion marks the Nirvana of Lord Mahavir, who is the founder of this religion and dharma. Lord Mahavira was born in Wardhaman in the Nata Clan near Vaishali. Nirvana means the final release of the soul from the body.