Celebrating Diwali – The Festival of Lights and its Significance

Diwali the celebration of lights with future upcoming expected good events...

Diwali is widely known as the festival of lights which represents the victory of good over evil and falls under autumn season every year. It is also known as “Deepavali” which is specially celebrated by Hindus. Other than Hindus, Jain, Sikhs and Buddhists also celebrate this festival with great cheer and joy. All the four religions celebrate this festival for different reasons. Few days before the festival, women cleans the entire house, some even give a new paint to the house to welcome Maa Lakshmi. Once the cleaning is complete, variety of Diwali delicacies are made especially savory snacks and sweets that can be stored for few days. People buy festive clothes, decorate their house with decorative Rangoli, and light clay lamps called as diyas.

Some  even enjoy making and decorating these diyas with different colors few days ahead of diwali. They make handmade toran – a decorative hanging on the door made with with marigold flowers and mango leaves, beads and pearls, or yarn and put on the day of Diwali. On that day people exchange gifts and sweets with Diwali Greetings with their friends and family. At night they celebrate with lots of fireworks. All the houses, offices, shops, business place would light up with lots of diyas, lights, and lanterns during the biggest festival of the nation which commemorates the triumph of light over darkness.

Diwali is a five day festival that begins on the thirteenth day of the month of Kartik. The first day is marked as Dhanteras where Maa Lakshmi who is the Goddess of fortune is worshiped for good health, prosperity, and wealth. This day is marked as the major shopping day of Gold. Apart from Gold, people also shop for Silver, home equipment, electronics, and utensils. Prayers are offered in the evening with the entire family. The second day is marked a Naraka Chaturdasi where prayers are offered for the one’s ancestral souls. This day is also related with the story of the demon Narakasur who was destroyed by Lord Krishna.

The third day is the main festival of Diwali which falls on the last day of the dark fortnight of the lunar month. On this day all the houses glows with clay lamps, candles, and lights. This is the last day of business year for hindus so all accounts are closed on this day. The family gathers for Lakshmi Pooja and after that they light up the firecrackers and have a family feast including different sweets like barfis, halwa, kheer. The fourth day is the beginning of the new hindu year where Annakut is offered to Lord Krishna. The day is celebrated as Govardhan Pooja, as Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan mountain to protect and shelter the villagers from a flood caused by Indra. And the fifth day is celebrated as Bhai Duj, which strengthens the very sweet bond of brother and sister’s relationship just like Raksha Bandhan. On this day the brother visits his married sisters house to meet her. The sister puts a tilak on his forehead and prays for his well-being and prosperity and offers him all his favorite food prepared with love. Brother shows respect and love by giving gift to his sister.

Check out: GG Diwali Contest

Importance of Diwali to Hindus:
There are many stories about Diwali related to Hindus and they are discussed below.
After the victory of Ram over Ravan, Ram returned Ayodhaya after 14 years of exile and the people who awaited for him decorated the whole kingdom with diyas and lights and thus the day is celebrated as Diwali.

Another story is that Vaman, one of the avatar of Vishnu defeated Bali Chakravarthy and proved that however the strong demon be but the chant of Shri Hari itself saves everyone’s life and for devotee’s the lord comes on the earth to help them in any form to demolish evils and get victory over it. This is also one of the reason to celebrated Diwali.

The most popular story of Diwali is about Narakasur. Long ago there was a demon called Narakasur born to Goddess Earth and Varaha, one of the avatar of Vishnu. As he was born with the qualities of a demon, Goddess Earth feared that Vishnu might kill him in future. So she pleaded Vishnu that he should not kill Narakasur at any cost. Then Vishnu gifted a boon to Goddess Earth that except you no one can kill him. By hearing the boon she was so happy because no mother kills her child. As years passed by, Narakasur grew up more powerful even God Indra couldn’t defeat him. All the deities thought that it would be more dangerous and went to Lord Vishnu to protect them from Narakasur. Lord Vishnu assures them that the end is near for Narakasur. Later Lord Vishnu took the form of Sri Krishna and Goddess Earth as Satyabhama.

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Meanwhile Narakasur continued his evil acts, tortured saints, and challenged all the God’s. On one such occasion he had to face Lord Krishna and then ensued a battle. Satyabhama pleased Lord Krishna that she wish to see the battle. As Krishna knew that Narakasur death was in the hands of Goddess Earth, he didn’t stopped Satyabhama. The battle started and the fight between them continued fiercely for many days. One day Narakasur succeeded in making Krishna unconscious. Then Satyabhama alone fought with Narakasur and defeated him. Thus the day is called as “Narakachaturdasi” and the day after that is called Diwali in which people celebrate the occasion with lamps and crackers.

Importance of Diwali to Jain’s:
In  ancient times, Jains believe in reincarnation rather than God. The anniversary of religious leader Mahavir achieving Moksha is celebrated by the Jains.

Importance of Diwali to Sikhs:
It is the day of liberation to Sikhs because of the release of their religious leader Guru Har Gobind from prison in the 1600s.

Importance of Diwali to Buddhists:
Buddhists celebrate Diwali as Ashoka Vijyadashmi as the great Indian emperor Ashoka converted to Buddhism.

At different region the celebration differs with different rituals but it is considered as the most auspicious occasion for everyone.  As Diwali is a day to honor Goddess Lakshmi for wealth and prosperity, hope she showers her prosperity towards us.

Send some Diwali Greetings to your friends: Happy Diwali Greetings

Wish you and your family a very Happy Diwali and a prosperous New Year from the Team of GirlsGlamour.