Diwali Quick Facts
|12 November 2023
|Festival Observed by
History of Diwali
Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is one of the most important and widely celebrated Hindu festivals. It is a five-day festival that usually falls between October and November, which marks the victory of light over darkness and good over evil.
The history of Diwali is rooted in ancient Hindu mythology and several important legends are associated with it. One of the most prominent and widely celebrated stories is that of Lord Rama's return to Ayodhya after his exile and victory over the demon king Ravana. According to the epic Ramayana, Lord Rama, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana spent 14 years of exile in the forests. After completing his exile, he returned to Ayodhya on the new moon day of the month of Kartik. To welcome and honor their beloved prince, the people of Ayodhya lit up the entire city with oil lamps and celebrated with immense joy and happiness. This tradition of lighting a lamp symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and good over evil.
Story of Diwali
Diwali is associated with many stories and legends that have deep cultural and religious significance.
Ramayana: The epic Ramayana tells the story of Lord Rama, his wife Sita and their devotee Hanuman. One of the major events of the Ramayana is the return of Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. To celebrate his return and to honor Lord Rama's victory over the demon king Ravana, the people of Ayodhya lit diyas (oil lamps) and decorated the entire city. This tradition is still followed during Diwali to mark the homecoming of Lord Ram.
Legend of Lord Krishna and Narakasura: According to this legend, the demon king Narakasura had become a threat to the world. Lord Krishna, along with his wife Satyabhama, fought a fierce battle against Narakasura and eventually defeated him, thereby liberating people from his tyranny. The day of Narakasura's defeat is celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi or Chhoti Diwali, which precedes the main day of Diwali. It symbolizes the victory of good over evil and the importance of righteousness.
Story of King Bali King Bali was a benevolent and virtuous ruler, but his ambitions scared the gods. Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Vamana, a dwarf Brahmin and approached King Bali for a boon. Bali granted Vamana's request, who later grew into a giant and covered the entire universe in just three steps. In return, Lord Vishnu granted King Bali a boon to visit his kingdom once a year. This journey is celebrated as Onam as a festival of Diwali in the state of Kerala.
Story of Goddess Lakshmi: Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, plays a central role in Diwali celebrations. It is believed that on the night of Diwali, Goddess Lakshmi visits homes and blesses them with wealth and abundance. People clean their houses, light lamps and pray to seek his blessings. The story emphasizes the importance of seeking the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity and well-being.
Significance of Diwali
This festival is religious, cultural and socially important. It is also known as the festival of light, which signifies the victory of light and knowledge by defeating darkness and ignorance.
Religious Significance: The main religious significance of Diwali is the worship of Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi is the symbol of wealth, prosperity and religion. People pray for his grace, blessings and wealth on this day. The purpose of making the house bright with the light of lamps on the day of Diwali is to signify the arrival of Lakshmi Mata.
Cultural significance: Indian culture and traditions have an important role in Diwali. On this occasion, people decorate their homes with colors and lamps. Rangoli and lighting of lamps not only enhance the beauty of the house, but also reveal a sense of organization and collective unity. This festival is a good opportunity to spend time with families and friends, to increase affection and love. It establishes the spirit of unity, fraternity and harmony in the Indian society.
Social Significance: Diwali is a social festival which connects people with each other and brings them together with happiness. People share sweets and gifts, enjoy food and drink with each other, and collectively organize performances and entertainment events. It is considered an occasion to celebrate in a happy and cheerful atmosphere, thereby strengthening social bonds and fostering a sense of well-being in the community.
How to celebrate Diwali
Diwali is celebrated with great pomp and enthusiasm. The unique way of celebrating it is for five days, in which each day has its own significant form.
Dhanteras: The festival of Diwali begins with Dhanteras. On this day people decorate their homes and worship Goddess Lakshmi for wealth and prosperity. On the day of Dhanteras, people wear new clothes and do shopping.
Chhoti Diwali (Naraka Chaturdashi): Chhoti Diwali is known as Naraka Chaturdashi, when Lord Krishna killed the demon king Narakasura. On this day people worship lamps and remove darkness and ignorance. Rangoli is usually drawn and the house is decorated.
Diwali: Diwali is the main day, which is celebrated on the new moon day. On this day, the outside and inside of the house is illuminated with the light of lamps. People decorate the house, make special sweets and dishes for Diwali and celebrate with their family and friends. Usually firecrackers are lit and other entertainment programs are organized.
Govardhan Puja: Govardhan Puja is celebrated on the fourth day of Diwali. On this day the Govardhan mountain is worshipped, which was saved by Lord Krishna. People worship food, fruits and offerings and perform around the Govardhan mountain.
Bhaiya Dooj: Bhaiya Dooj is celebrated on the last day of Deepawali, which is called the festival of brothers and sisters. On this day sister worships her brother's nappy and gives him a boon. This festival shows the love and respect of brother and sister.
Tradition and customs of Diwali
The customs are prevalent to collectively celebrate the festival of Diwali. Although, they also have slight variations in different regions and societies, but all have the same spirit and purpose – to wish for happiness, prosperity and harmony and to twinkle as a symbol of light.
Home Decoration: From the very first day of Diwali, people start decorating their homes. Rangoli is made to decorate the house, lamps are lit and a pylon is placed in the courtyard of the house.
Burning of firecrackers: Burning of firecrackers is an important part of the theater of Diwali. People light different types of firecrackers and create a colorful atmosphere in the sky and create an atmosphere of joy.
Distributing gifts and sweets:The festival of Diwali also has a habit of sharing gifts and sweets. People give gifts to their family, friends and neighbors and also feed sweets. This keeps a sense of love and dedication with each other.
Social interaction: On the occasion of Diwali, people enjoy social interaction. It is an occasion for families, friends and neighbors to meet and share happiness, sweetness and love with each other.
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