For thousands of years, Diwali has been celebrated in India as a festival of prosperity and joy. This festival bears special significance for Hindus, who believe it signals a turn of events from darkness to light. However, this day holds great importance for people of other religions too, such as Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism, which have their own stories and significance for the festival of Diwali. So, let's discover the history and traditions of this festival of lights to better understand the significance of Diwali for Indians.
FAQs About Diwali
Why Is Diwali Celebrated?
Diwali and its auspicious traditions have great importance in our lives.. From the north to the south of the country, Diwali is celebrated according to each region’s mythological and traditional heritage. So, let's take a closer look at the mythology, stories and practices that make Diwali the most loved festival for us.
Return of Lord Rama after 14 years of exile
On Diwali, we light up our houses and streets with lights and diyas to celebrate the return of Lord Rama, his wife Sita, and brother Lakshman after spending 14 years in exile. It is believed that during this period of exile, Lord Rama defeated the king of demons, Ravana, who ruled Lanka. When this news reached the villages of Ayodhya, the people lit up the path for Lord Rama with diyas, festive lights, and many other decorations to celebrate his return to his kingdom.
The defeat of the demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna
In southern India, Diwali is a celebration of Lord Krishna’s defeat of the demon named Narakasura to free the people of the Pragjyotishpur kingdom.
Diwali Pays Tribute To the Goddess of Wealth. What Is Her Name?
Hindu mythology speaks of three main goddesses, namely Goddess Kali, Goddess Saraswati, and Goddess Lakshmi. Among these, Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped on the auspicious day of Diwali as she is the goddess of wealth, prosperity and growth. It is even believed that on this particular day, Goddess Lakshmi chose Lord Vishnu to be her husband, who is the preserver and protector of the Universe.
Are There Festivals Celebrated Around The Time of Diwali?
Diwali is a five-day-long festival, but, as per the Hindu calendar, many celebrations start one month before the main five days in some parts of India. . First comes Navratri or Nauratri, where the nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped with intense devotion. Prayers are offered all around the country, and all nine days are celebrated with happiness and joy.
The tenth day of Navaratri, Dussehra, is one of the main days for Hindus in the entire world. On this day, the effigies of Ravana, Meghanathan, and Kumbh Karana are burnt to celebrate the victory of Lord Rama and banishment of evil. However, in some regions, people burn the effigies of Narakasura in the same way to celebrate the triumph of Lord Krishna.
Twenty days after Dussehra, the festival of Diwali starts. The five-day celebration of Diwali begins with Dhanteras, a day on which people purchase gold and utensils, which represent fertility and the growth of wealth. The next day is Choti Diwali, when people decorate their homes with candles, diyas, and artificial lights to attract positive energy and dispel darkness. On Choti Diwali, the kids make clay lamps and patterns on the floor with rangoli using lively colors.
On day three is the main festival of Diwali. People visit their relatives and friends to share in the love, happiness and friendship. They exchange sweets and celebrate the festival together with happiness and firecrackers.
The fourth day of Diwali is celebrated with Govardhan Pooja, where people worship Lord Krishna and Govardhan Parvat.
Lastly, the fifth day of Diwali is Bhai Dooj. On this particular day, all the brothers visit their sisters, when sisters perform the 'tilak' ritual, and bless their brothers with a long and happy life.
What Other Name Is Diwali Known By?
As Diwali is a part of more than one religion, it has many names. It is also known as Deepavali, Jain Diwali, Bandi Chorh Diwas, Bandna, Swanti, Tihar, and Sohrai.
Are There Interesting Legends Associated With Diwali?
Diwali is not just an auspicious festival for the Hindus, but it also holds great importance for Jains and Sikhs. So let's find out how.
As per mythological stories, on Diwali Lord Rama came back to Ayodhya after 14 years in exile, as described in the Ramayana. Similarly in Mahabharata, Pandavas and their wife Draupadi returned to their kingdom after living in exile for 13 years. They returned on the day of Kartika Amavasya. Their return was welcomed with decorations and lightning of earthen lamps.
Just like for the Hindus, Diwali is important for Jains. On this day, the 24th Jain Tirthankara Lord Mahavira attained enlightenment or spiritual awakening.
In Sikhism, Diwali or Bandi Chorh Diwas is when their sixth guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib, and 52 prisoners were released from captivity by the emperor Jahangir. Since that day, for Sikhs, the auspicious day of Diwali is celebrated as Bandi Chorh Diwas or the Day of Liberation.
What Are The Other Mythological Reasons Why Diwali Is Celebrated?
Diwali is celebrated in all parts of India for different mythological reasons. For example, in northern India, Diwali is celebrated as the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana and his return to his hometown with his wife and brother after 14 years in exile. On the other hand, in Southern India, Diwali is celebrated in honor of Lord Krishna, who defeated Narakasura and freed sixteen thousand girls from his captivity. Further, Diwali signifies wealth in Western India, so the people worship Goddess Lakshmi on this auspicious day.
What Is The Best Time For Lakshmi Pooja?
Lakshmi Pooja is an auspicious pooja performed to worship Ganesha, Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati, Mahakali, and Kuber. This prayer is to be performed at a particular time for its remarkable effectiveness in our lives. It is done in the evening time on the day of Diwali when the sun enters its second course and crosses through the Libra (the constellation), which represents balance and scale.
Why Do People Make Rangolis On Diwali?
Rangoli is a beautiful art of different patterns usually drawn on auspicious days and momentous occasions.. It represents prosperity, positivity, happiness, and the livelihood of the household. During the 5 auspicious days of Diwali, rangoli is drawn outside the front door of the house to welcome Hindu Gods to our home, especially Goddess Lakshmi, who represents wealth and charm.
What Are Some Traditions Associated With Diwali?
According to the Hindu calendar, Diwali is the festival that represents new beginnings and the victory of good over evil. Thus, on this day, people dress up in vibrant traditional clothes and greet their relatives and friends with immense love and happiness. They exchange gifts and invite each other for feasts. Traditional food is cooked at home, as per each region’s history and heritage. Further, rangolis, using different patterns and designs, are made using vibrant colors, sand, and rice at the house entrance.
What Are Some Creative Diwali Gift Ideas?
Diwali gifts are not just meant to be sweets, but they should represent the love and emotion of the person who gifts them. So, to express such love, one can always go for creative Diwali gifts. Creative gifts, specially designed for Diwali, include paper lanterns and luxury handicrafts such as moon lamps, wooden portraits, pop arts, and nameplates. Other presents have gift hampers, home decors, dining decors, and even the tiny idols of Gods.
Is Diwali Celebrated Only In India?
Diwali is one of the most significant festivals for Hindus, which is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm all over the country. But it is not only in India that this festival is celebrated on this auspicious day. People in other countries such as Fiji, Malaysia, Pakistan, Mauritius, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Guyana, Suriname, Tobago, Nepal, United Kingdom, and Trinidad celebrate Diwali with the same enthusiasm and happiness.
Are There Any Safety Tips For Diwali?
Diwali, the festival of lights, is incomplete without firecrackers. . So on this day, everyone lights different kinds of crackers to express their happiness and for the entertainment of children.
However, lighting crackers can be risky. At such a time of festivities, a few tips needed for the safety of the person lighting fireworks and the family members need to be kept in mind.
- Always wear cotton clothes and stay away from fire.
- If you have sensitive ears or have a baby at your home, make sure that you are quite far from the firecrackers as the noise can be startling and can damage the ears. Use earmuffs or earplugs for protection.
- Ensure that your purchased crackers are from a licensed seller and not expired.
- Always keep a safety kit by your side.
What Religion Celebrates Diwali?
Although Diwali is an important festival for Hindus, it is equally significant for Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists.
What Do You Give For Diwali?
Diwali is a festival which is celebrated together with families and friends. It is a time to forget and forgive past mistakes and wrongs, start or revive relationships with other people by exchanging gifts. These gifts may include sweets and small gift hampers of eatables or valuable items like utensils, handmade arts, paper lanterns, etc.
Does ExclusiveLane Deal In Corporate Diwali Gifts?
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