India 29 October 2016: Diwali, or Deepavali, one of the most significant festivals celebrated not only by Hindus in india but hindus across the world. festival of lights is another name given to it, Diwali is celebrated by people in India, Nepal, Malaysia, Mauritius, Pakistan, etc. on the day of ‘amavasya’ or new moon. Diwali this year will be celebrated on Monday, October 30.
In India Diwali is one of the grandest festivals, where people start preparing for it months in advance. During Diwali diyas are lit up in the entire country, crackers and happiness. Diwali is celebrated for five-days, starting with Dhanteras and ends with Bhai Dooj. The third day is considered as the main day of Diwali.
How Diwali or Deepavali Originated?
For ages Diwali was celebrated as a harvest festival, which symbolized celebrating the arrival of wealth and blessings. Even today In many villages where primary occupation of people is agriculture it is still celebrated as the harvest festival.
In sanskrit scriptures this festival is known as Skanda Purana and Padma Purana which means diyas or tiny lamps which are used to symbolize the sun the energy giver. Deepawali or diwali comes from the words the “diwa” or "deep" which stands for "lamp" or "light", and "avali" stands for a "row". Hence you find a row of lamps everywhere during Diwali in India. In the Hindu mythology, Diwali is known to be associated with Yama and Nachiketa on the new moon night of Diwali.
King Harsha in a seventh century Sanskrit play, mentions Deepapratipadutsava, when diyas are lit and newly married couples are gifted, in remembrance of the marriage of god Vishnu and goddess Lakshmi. Rajasekhara referred to Deepavali as Dipamalika, In the ninth century Kayvamimamsa, according to which this tradition people clean and decorate their homes, streets and markets with lights during this week.
Many of us today celebrate Diwali in remembrance of the return of Ram and Sita to ayodhya after 14 years of vanvas, while some people celebrate it as the return of Pandavas.
How is Diwali or Deepavali celebrated?
People start preparations for Diwali months in advance. In preparation for the festivities People buy gold, silver and utensils, Start cleaning and decorating their homes with colourful rangolis, bright diyas and other decorations.
During Diwali or Deepavali most People worship Lakshmi who is known to be the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and also lord Ganesha who is the remover of all obstacles.
The Diwali or Deepavali celebrations starts with Dhanteras which is the festival of wealth. On the second day it is Naraka Chaturdashi, The actual day of Diwali is the third day and the new moon day and the most significant day. The husband-wife bond is celebrated on the fourth day known as the Diwali Padva and the diwali festivities end with Bhai Dooj which is dedicated to the sister-brother relationship on the fifth day.
People start preparing for diwali by cleaning, renovating, and decorating their homes and offices. During diwali people dress up in new clothes, decorate their homes by lighting lamps and candles and doing pujas to the goddess Lakshmi. After the laxmi puja people generally burst firecrackers, and have a family get together and exchange sweets and gifts.
During diwali many businessmen mark a start of a new financial year with a fresh accounts book known popularly as ‘Bhai Khata’, after offering it to goddess Lakshmi. There is a popular belief that with the blessings of goddess lakshmi, it will be a profitable year for them.
Kali Puja on Diwali
Kali Puja is also celebrated on the diwali night predominantly by Bengalis. King of Navadveep, Raja Krishnachandra introduced Kali puja in the eighteenth century. This festival gained a lot of popularity in the nineteenth century when it was patronised by the local kings and land lords in Bengal. This puja is very popular in the region of Bengal and is now celebrated with equal fanfare as Diwali.