Diwali or Deepawali, the biggest festival of Hindus is celebrated in whole India in the month of October- November.
It is the festival of light and happiness and is celebrated for different reasons. People celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm and joy. It is one such festival which crosses the boundaries of region and religion.
Diwali is a five-day festival having a great historical importance signifying the triumph of good over evil.
Not only Hindus but other religions also celebrate it for different reasons. For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of Moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BC. Sikhs celebrate it as Bandhi Chhor Diwas (The Celebration of Freedom) of Guru Hargobind.
But largely it is celebrated by Hindus which mark it as the festival of the year and remember the return of Lord Rama, along with Sita and Lakshman, from the 14-year-long exile and after vanquishing the demon-king Ravana.
Why We Celebrate Diwali?
Diwali or Deepawali is often known as the “Festival of Lights.” It symbolizes the victory of good over evil and establishes truth and righteousness. We are celebrating Diwali from many years. The main reason behind the celebration is related to Hindu mythology. It marks the return of Lord Rama along with his brother Laxman and wife Sita to Ayodhya after serving 14 years of exile. During the exile, Lord Rama had conquered Ravana, the demon king of Lanka.
It’s been said that when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya it was the most joyous moment for the whole family and courtiers and they celebrated it with immense happiness. The people of Ayodhya lit diyas (ghee lamps) and burned firecrackers.
How Diwali is Celebrated?
Diwali is celebrated all over India in different ways. It’s a five-day festival starting from Dhanteras to Bhaiduj. During Diwali, people wear new clothes. They share sweets with their family members and friends and worship Goddess Laxmi and Ganesha.
Farmers also celebrate it as a harvesting festival. In Bengal, people worship Goddess Kali on Diwali. The whole country celebrates it one or the other way.
Diwali – The Five Days Festival
Diwali is not a one-day festival; rather it is celebrated over the span of five days. All these five days are celebrated for different reasons and in different ways. The first day is the Dhanteras and the last is the Bhaidhuj. These days are listed below:
1. Dhanteras: The first day is the Dhanteras which is considered as the auspicious occasion of wealth and prosperity. “Dhan” means wealth and “Teras” or “Trayodashi” means the 13th day. It is celebrated on the thirteenth day of the second half of the month of Karthik.
People buy utensils and gold which is considered auspicious on this day. Dhanteras is also celebrated as the Jayanti (Birth Anniversary) of God Dhanvantari, the Physician of Gods, who came out during Samudra Manthan, the churning of the great ocean by the gods and the demons.
2. NarakChaudas: It is a day on which Krishna killed the demon Narakasura. So, it marks the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. People celebrate it lighting small lamps all around the house and drawing Rangoli outside their homes. They also perform a special puja with offerings to Krishna or Vishnu and take a bath before sunrise. Children burn crackers and celebrate it with joy.
3. Lakshmi Puja on Amavasya: The third day is the most important day of the Diwali celebration which includes the worship of Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and Ganesh, the God of auspicious beginnings at their homes and workplaces. For the businessmen, it is the most auspicious day of the year as it marks the incoming of Goddess Laxmi (as wealth) in their homes.
Children and other members wear new clothes and light lamps in the homes to welcome prosperity and well-being. After the worship, they burn crackers and enjoy the night. People also do gambling which is considered good for that day as it signifies the incoming of wealth and prosperity throughout the year.
4. Govardhan Puja: Also known as Annakuta Pooja the day is celebrated by remembering it as the day when Krishna, the incarnation of the god Vishnu defeated Indra and saved the people and cattle by lifting Govardhan hill from rain and floods. On this day large quantities of food are prepared and worshiped.
5. Bhaiduj: It celebrates the pious bond between a brother and sister. On this day, sisters pray for the good of their brothers and brothers give gifts to their sisters. It is based on a story of brother Yama, Lord of Death and his sister Yami (the river Yamuna). Usually, brothers visit their sisters’ place and have a meal there and give gifts to their sisters.
Why We Worship Goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesha instead Lord Rama?
As we know that Diwali is celebrated due to the reason of return of Lord Ram and his wife Sita to Ayodhya after the 14 years of exile but we worship Goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesha instead Lord Rama
Have you ever noticed why it is so? The reason behind is that the after returning from banishment Lord Rama, first of all, worshiped Goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesha and since then the trend is being set up to worship both these Gods.