India is a multi-cultural country where people enjoy every festival with their heart and soul as per their religious beliefs. Diwali, also known as Deepavali or Dipavali. Diwali holds a special significance in the lives of Indians, it’s not just a festival of lights but a celebration of a tradition that hails the victory of light over darkness, good over evil. Diwali is a national festival that is enjoyed by most Indians regardless of faith: Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs. Hindu, Jain and Sikh communities also mark charitable causes, kindness, and for peace.
Diwali dates back to ancient times in India and the name derived from dīpam “light, lamp” and oil “glow of light”. It signifies returning of Lord Rama with his wife Sita, brother Laxmana and Lord Hanuman to his kingdom Ayodhya after 14 years of Vanvas (exile) and after defeating Ravana, the evil.
Diwali is a five-day festival and celebrated across the country in various ways. Diwali begins with night centring on the new moon – the darkest night – at the end of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin and the start of the month of Kartika. As per World calendar, Diwali typically falls in the month of October or November each year.
People eagerly awaiting for this festival, everyone feels the air of this auspicious festival. You can find busy streets full of shoppers to buy new things – from small item to big, even you get bargains and good deals during this Diwali. People clean and paint their houses, Sweets shops are preparing their selves ready to serve with various sweets and desserts for customers. Even, nowadays you find good deals and discounts on online shopping sites to buy products online. People plan for holidays well in advance as there is the sharp rise in booking and price during this festivals.
Even, long articles will not be enough to describe this auspicious festival, there are different historical events and stories marked this festival even more significant across different religious communities. We like to give the small overview about this five days festival.
The Five Days of Diwali Festival
Dhanteras (Day 1)
Dhanteras is the first day of festivities, on this auspicious day, people clean their homes and shops and do pujas and keep diyas burning all through the nights – to honour Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity.
Naraka (Kali) Chaturdasi (Day 2)
Naraka (Kali) Chaturdasi is the second day of festivities, people decorate their homes with clay lamps and create design patterns called rangoli on the floor using coloured powders or sand.
As per Hindu literature – Narakasura, the asura (demon), was killed by Krishna, Satyabhama and Kali.
Diwali – Lakshmi Puja (Day 3)
Diwali is the third (main) day of the festival when families gather together for Lakshmi puja, a prayer to Goddess Lakshmi for wealth and prosperity, and her blessings for an upcoming good year.
After the puja, people celebrate the festival by lighting up fireworks followed by the family feast, conversations and sweets.
New Year – Starting of New Calendar Year (Day 4)
The fourth day is marked as the first day of Kartika month of the new year, Hindu calendar year called Vikram Samvat. Merchants and shopkeepers close their books of the old year and start a new fiscal year.
People visit their friends and relatives with gifts and best wishes for the new year.
Bhai Duj (Day 5)
Bhai Duj is the last day of Diwali. Bhai Duj emphasizes the love and lifelong sister-brother bond, brothers visit their married sisters home who welcome and perform a puja with prayers for the well-being of their brothers, then return to a ritual of food-sharing, gift-giving and conversations.
What is your plan during this Diwali holidays? Are you heading to the new destination or Planning to enjoy at home with friends and relatives? What is your pledge for new Vikram Samvat year?