Diwali is a time for great enjoyment, fun and frolic. Everything is lit up very brightly as young and old, rich and poor alike dress up in new clothes and indulge in sweetmeats.It truly a festival of lights as oil lamps and diyas are left burning all night to guide the Goddess Lakshmi when she visits homes.
When is Diwali
Diwali is one of the most auspicious Indian Festivals. It celebrates Lord Rama's return to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. On that dark winter night many years ago, the people of Ayodhya had welcomed Lord Rama with open arms, the entire town was lit with oil lamps and candles and the night sky filled with firecrackers. Ever since, Diwali has come to be celebrated on the dark Amavasya night in the Hindu month of Kartik (October-November). This year Diwali will be celebrated on 11th November. The most significant aspect of Diwali is the Puja offered to Goddess Lakshmi and its distinction between good and evil.
|Day 1||Dhanteras / Dhantheran / Dhantrayodashi / Dhanwantari Triodasi / Yamadeepdaan / Dhan Teyras|
|Day 2||Choti Diwali / Kali Chaudas / Narak Chaturdashi|
|Day 3||Diwali / Baddi Diwali / Lakshmi Puja|
|Day 4||Pratipat / Padwa Puja / Gudi Padwa / Govardhan Puja / Annakoot|
|Day 5||Bhai Duj / Bhhaya Dooj / Bhai Beej / Dvitiya|
The festival of lights is observed for a period of 5 days, starting from Dhanteras and ending with Bhai Dooj. Here’s how Diwali is enjoyed by one and all.
In Bengal, Goddess Kali or Durga, the goddess of strength, is worshipped. This reverence is called "Kali Chaturdashi". Strength is a positive attribute for one to have but it must be used to protect others from harm and used only in good and pure deeds. Also during Diwali, the goddess of wealth, Lord Lakshmi is worshipped.
The day of Dipavali has special significance for the business community as they consider this day to be the perfect time to begin their new financial year. Some people also indulge in gambling on the day of Diwali because it is a believed that wife of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati played dice with Him on this day and therefore those, who gamble on this auspicious day, are blessed with prosperity.
Historically, the origin of Diwali can be traced back to ancient India, when it was probably an important harvest festival. However, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali. Some believe it to be the celebration of the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu. Diwali also commemorates the return of Lord Rama along with Sita and Lakshman from his fourteen yearlong exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana. In joyous celebration of the return of their king, the people of Ayodhya, the Capital of Rama, illuminated the kingdom with earthen diyas (oil lamps) and burst crackers.
Rangolis are one of the oldest and most beautiful art forms of India.Simply put Rangolis are patterns or motifs, usually depicting Nature, drawn on the floor or a wall with powdered color made out of natural vegetable dyes. The term Rangoli is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘rang' which means color, and ‘aavalli' which means rows or creepers. So a Rangoli is basically a row of color, weaved into a pattern of sorts. These beautiful painted Rangolis immediately remind one of the royal Rajput houses where Rangolis were drawn all year round but the grandest and most beautiful one's were drawn only on Diwali. Even today people follow that custom as they decorate their houses with these Diwali Rangolis in order to appease Goddess Lakshmi and welcome her to their houses.
In fact so diverse are the rituals and traditions of Diwali in different parts of the country that it is impossible to pin down just one way of celebrating this wonderful festival.