Diwali is one of the biggest (in fact the biggest) festival that’s celebrated in India. It usually lasts for about a week and is the time when people go shopping, are paid bonuses, its the most profitable time of the year for businesses, and most big Bollywood releases happen this time of the year (especially Shahrukh Khan’s movies). Lets take a closer look at this festival of lights.
- When: Between Oct 15 to Oct 20 (Indian festivals do not fall on the exact dates every year, the dates vary a bit depending on the Hindu calendar)
- Where: All over India
About the Festival
Diwali is well known as the ‘festival of lights’ and for children its also the festival of sweets and fireworks, special candles and lamps. Its the most awaited Indian festival, not just for Indian but also Foreigners who happen to be in India. Although its a Hindu festival, people of all religious beliefs celebrate this festival.
It also happens to fall in the cooler months (Oct or Nov) in India, when its pleasant to go out and shop & meet friends/relatives.
What does the Festival Signify?
The reasons for celebrating Diwali are many, but they all are associated (more or less) with the same thing, and that is to celebrate the victory of the ‘Good over the Evil’.
- Diwali celebrates Lord Rama’s long-awaited return to his Kingdom of Ayodhya, after his fourteen years of exile.
- It also commemorates Lord Krishna’s victory over the demon Narakaasura who had kidnapped and terrorized the gopis of Vrindavan. It is also celebrated as the day Bhagwan Vishnu married Maha Lakshmi.
- Diwali is also associated with the story of the fall of Bali – a demon king who was conquered by Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu appeared in front of the demon king Bali in the form of a dwarf and requested only three steps of land. The evil and egotistic Bali granted the drawf’s meager request of only three feet. Suddenly, Lord Vishnu took on His grand size and placed one foot on the Earth, another on the Heavens and His third on the head of the evil Bali.
In general, Diwali signifies the triumph of ‘Good over the Evil’, of ‘Righteousness over Treachery’, of ‘Truth over Falsehood’, and of ‘Light over Darkness’.
The Festival Diwali is celebrated over 5 days.
Day One (Dhanteras)
First day of Diwali is Dhanteras, In this day people pray to Goddess Laxmi for wealth. People in India believe that if they purchase new utensils in this day Goddess Laxmi will come to their home and fulfill their all wishes.
Day Two (Chhoti Diwali)
Second day is known as Chhoti Diwali (Chhoti means ‘small’ in Hindi), this day people worship Goddess “Lakshmi” and Lord “Rama”.
Third Day (Badi Diwali)
It is the actual “Diwali festival” which also know as “Badi Diwali” (Badi means ‘bigger’). Devotees worship Goddess for wealth and in evening people perform an aarti for God by Oil lamps with a cotton wick are placed on a Puja Thali. Also people decorate their house and balcony with colorful lanterns and fairy lights, enjoying fireworks displays or blasting fire crackers. Ladies in family make more verity of foods and sweats. All people wishes to each other by giving sweats and saying “Happy Diwali”.
Fourth Day (Govardhan Puja)
On this day people celebrated as Govardhan Puja.
Fifth Day (Bhaiduj)
On the final day i mean the fifth day is celebrated as Bhaiduj. This is the day for brothers and sisters to make their relationships more strong and beautiful.