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Diwali - The Festival of Lights

Diwali - The Festival of Lights

The Auspicious Festival of Diwali

The celebration of Diwali goes back to the Era of Prince Rama of Ayodhya when he came back to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. There are various similar tales attributed to the celebration of the festival of lights but the most popular one is that of the Prince Rama and his return from exile.

Ramayana, the great Hindu Epic, is the story of the Prince Rama and the battle that took place between Demon king Raavana and the Prince of Ayodhya-Prince Rama. The legend goes like this that Prince Rama was ordered by his father Prince Dashratha to leave Ayodhya and come back after living in the forests for 14 years. So the Prince Rama went into exile along with his wife Sita and brother Rama. During their exile, the demon king of Lanka kidnapped the Princess Sita and took her away to the island of Lanka. Rama fought against and ultimately killed the demon king of Lanka, King Raavana. After rescuing Sita, Prince Ram returned to Ayodhya along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman. The people of Ayodhya decorated & illuminated the entire place to celebrate the homecoming of their beloved Prince Rama. To celebrate this homecoming they decorated their houses and lit earthen lamps (diyas), burst crackers.

This is the story which is most often associated with Diwali, often told in children folklore. Most people believe that started the celebration of Diwali also known as the festival of lights. Every year Indians everywhere celebrate Diwali to commemorate the homecoming of the Prince Rama of Ayodhya and to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi. On this day people burst crackers, dress in new clothes and decorate their homes in the most beautiful way possible.

Another well known story related to the origin of the celebration of Diwali is that of Krishna and Arjun.

This story was narrated in the India epic battle of Mahabharata. Mahabharata is about the five royal brothers - the Pandavas-who suffered a defeat at the hands of their brothers - the Kauravs in a game of gambling. As per the rules of the game, it was decided that the Pandavas had to go into exile for 13 years. When the exile got over, the Pandavas returned to their birth place of Hastinapur on the day of Kartik Amawasya. To celebrate this homecoming of the brothers, the people of the city of Hastinapur illuminated the entire city with decorative lights; burst crackers. It is also believed on the day of Diwali, the goddess of wealth i.e. Goddess Lakshmi arose from the ocean.

The tradition of Diwali has been kept alive since then, and is often celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm.

This year the festival of lamps is going to be celebrated on 27th October 2019. Diwali or Diwali is the major Hindu festival. It is one of the major festivals celebrated in India. This festival is celebrated as a symbol of victory of light over darkness, of good over evil and of the victory of truth over untruth. On this day, people worship Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kuber, the god of wealth.

Diwali is a festival of Happiness and Prosperity.

Diwali is celebrated on the 15th day as per the Vikram Samvat of the month of Kartik, i.e. on the Kartik Amavasya. Diwali is symbolic of the happiness and prosperity. To mark the celebration of Diwali, people decorate their homes with earthen lamps and lights, as well as they burst crackers. People also exchange sweets with relatives and friends. People also feed the poor and give clothes.

Some facts about Diwali:

  • Diwali is the most important religious Hindu festival. Also celebrated by Sikhs and Jains.
  • Diwali is celebrated every year and continue for 5 days, marking the beginning of Hindu New Year.
  • The word 'Diwali' is Sanskrit word which means 'rows of lights'.
  • Diwali honors the Hindu goddess of wealth - Lakshmi. It is believed that lights and lamps are believed to guide goddess Lakshmi find her way into people's homes.
  • It is also the celebration of the victory of good over evil.
  • Rangoli is also a famous Diwali tradition. Rangoli’s are the beautiful patterns made using the colors made out of flowers.

How to worship on Diwali?

Lord Ganesha and the Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped on the occasion of Diwali. For the celebration of create a rangoli and place the idols of Goddess Laksmi and the Lord Kubera along with Sri Yantra. Place an earthen or copper vase filled with water, light a lamp of ghee along with the vase, panch mewa, jiggery flowers, sweets, ghee, lotus flowers, kheel batsan, etc. in front of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laksmi.

The lotus flower is very dear to Goddess Laksmi, so it is considered very important to keep the lotus flowers along with the sugarcanes. The festival of Diwali is synonymous with prosperity and hence, people also do a Diwali pooja in their shops and business centers, worshipping money and jewelry.

The Diwali celebration goes on for 5 days, and this celebrated all over India with great gusto and enjoyment. Diwali is celebrated for what it signifies – the victory of truth over untruth & the victory of good over evil.

What are the five days of Diwali?

  • Dhanteras – to be celebrated on October 25, 2019: This is the first day of Diwali celebration. This day is dedicated to celebrating and respecting wealth and prosperity. On this day, it is believed, that Goddess Lakshmi descended to intervene in the epic Samudra Manthan. On this day it is a trend to purchase new things especially gold and other precious metals.

  • Choti Diwali– to be celebrated on October 26, 2019: This is the second day of the grand celebration of Diwali. It is believed that on this day Goddess Kali and Lord Krishna destroyed the demon Narakasura.

  • Diwali – to be celebrated on October 27, 2019: This is the most important day among the 5 days Diwali celebration. The main festival that celebrates the homecoming of Lord Rama is celebrated on this day, when every Indian decorates their homes with earthen lamps and the children bursts crackers. The main festival of Diwali always falls on Kartik Amavasya. On this day idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kuber are worshipped.

  • Goverdhan Puja – to be celebrated on October 28th, 2019: There are different for the celebration of this day across the country. In north India, Goverdhan Puja is celebrated as the day when Lord Krishna defeated God Indra – the god of thunder and rain. Whereas, in Gujarat it is celebrated as the beginning of the new year. Maharashtra, Karnataka, & Tamil Nadu, the victory of Lord Vishnu over the demon king bali is celebrated as Bali Pratipada or Bali Padmi.

  • Bhai Dooj – to be celebrated on 29th October, 2019: This is the last day of the Diwali celebration. The last day of Diwali celebration is known as bhai dooj. Just like the auspicious festival of raksha bandhan, this festival is also dedicated to the brothers and sisters.

The auspicious timings for Diwali Puja:

  • Puja Muharata – 1:48 to 3:13 minutes
  • Laxmi Pooja Muharata – 7 pm to 8:36 p.m.
  • Pradosh Period – 6:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Vrishabh Kaal Period – 7:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

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