First of all, Happy Diwali 2023 to all!
Also known as Deepawali, Diwali is one of the most auspicious and awaited festivals celebrated with utmost enthusiasm in India. People decorate their homes, wear new clothes, buy new stuff, prepare sweets and snacks, burn crackers and have lots of fun.
All these celebrations are done to mark the return of Rama to Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman after defeating King Ravana in Lanka.
Diwali: A 5 Days Celebration
Celebrated in the month of Kartika 20 days after Dussehra, Diwali is a 5-day festival which is enjoyed by each and every Indian. Here are the names of the festivals celebrated on each day:
Day 1: Dhanteras
Dhanteras is a combination of two words ‘dhan’ meaning wealth and ‘teras’ means thirteen. It means that this festival is celebrated on the thirteenth day in the lunar cycle of Kartika month. This day signifies the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi in the house and people like to make tiny rice or kumkum footprints at the door for the same reason. Also, people buy gold on this day as that would mean the coming of Lakshi in the house.
However, there is another story associated with this day which suggests that Yamraj is supposed to be blocked at the door and diyas and shiny stuff helps in that. Read this article to learn the complete story.
Day 2: Narak Chaturdashi (Chhoti Diwali)
Chhoti Diwali is called Narak Chaturdashi because Lord Krishna destroyed the demon Narkasur on this day and freed 16,000 women from his capture. People clean their houses on this day and remove all the waste items from the house. After that, people light a diya at their door to please goddess Lakshmi and Yamraj.
Day 3: Lakshmi Pujan (Badi Diwali)
Lakshmi Pujan marks the birth of Goddess Lakshmi who is the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Everybody wants these two things to enter their lives without a glitch, so everybody worships goddess Lakshmi on this day in order to please her.
Day 4: Govardhan Puja
As per the legends, when Indra was angrily showering storm at the villagers of Braj, Krishna lifted the Govardhan parvat on his little finger to offer shelter to the villagers. This went on for 7 to 8 days after which Indra gave up and stopped the storm. Since then, people worship and offer delicacies to Govardhan parvat as a tribute to offer shelter to them.
Day 5: Bhai Dooj
As per the story float, brother Yama visited his sister Yamuna on this day and since then it is celebrated as Bhai Dooj. Every brother visits his sister’s house to offer her gifts and accept food and delicacies from her. The sister welcomes her brother dearly and offers his favourite delicacies.
Diwali: Multiple Reasons to Celebrate the Day
We all have been sticking to one reason for celebrating Diwali. However, there are multiple things associated with this celebration and we will discuss each of them below. Find all the reasons we celebrate this amazing day:
1. According to the legendary Ramayana, this day marks the return of Lord Rama to his home Ayodhya after rescuing his beloved wife Sita from Ravana with the help of his lovely brother Lakshman after 14 years in exile.
2. Another mythological reason to celebrate this day is the birth of Goddess Lakshmi. She is also believed to have chosen and married Lord Vishnu as her Husband on this day.
3. After Ramayana, Mahabharata also suggests that Pandava brothers returned to Hastinapur after their 12 years in exile on this day. If you can’t recall the story: After losing the gambling bet to Kauravas, later exiled the Pandavas for 12 years.
4. The eastern India observes Diwali as Kali Puja honouring Goddess Kali who is believed to help the earth get rid of all the demons. West Bengal celebrates this festival in the most fascinating and enthusiastic way possible.
5. Let us come to another religion: Sikh observe this day as Bandi Chhor Diwar as it is the day when sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji was freed from Mughal prison. He wasn’t the only one out, but 52 kinds that happened in the early 17th century.
6. For the western Indian states, especially Gujarat this day marks as their new year.
7. In Jain religion, it is believed that Mahavira attained salvation on this day in Bihar’s Pavapuri.
8. Besides getting married on this day, it is believed that Lord Vishnu rescued his wife Lakshmi from King Bali’s prison on this day. Post that, King Bali was exiled to rule the underworld at the command of Lord Vishnu.