Diwali │ Deepavali │Dipavali – is a festival of lights, sharing, caring, togetherness, hope, happiness, love, peace, prosperity, and abundance.
It is an Indian festival which is celebrated all across the country with huge excitements and involvements. Usually, it lasts for 4 to 5 days.
It is celebrated by the followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, they have their own reasons for celebrating it.
Why is Diwali called the festival of lights?
”Diwali│Deepavali” in Sanskrit means “row of lights”, the lights are lit to dissipate the darkness of night, and as an invitation to the goddess of fortune Lakshmi to visit our houses to bestow her blessings.
That is why Diwali is called “ the festival of lights”.There are also some other reasons for it.
It can be understood well if we read these interesting mythological stories behind its origin.
This year Diwali will be celebrated on October 27, 2019; a day before Amavasya (the lunar phase of the new moon).
This festival symbolizes:-
- The victory of Dharma (good) over Adharma (evil).
- The victory of Knowledge over ignorance.
- The victory of light over darkness, It dissipates the darkness around us and within us.
- Paves the path of hope and a new beginning.
Topics to read:-
- Indian mythological stories behind its celebration.
- Why is Diwali celebrated for 5 days?
- How do we celebrate Diwali at home?
- Diwali dishes.
- Diwali Gift Ideas.
Indian mythological stories behind the Diwali celebration.
The festivals which are been celebrated in India have wonderful as well as meaningful mythological stories behind them.
I have been always curious to know about these, they carry very strong messages or morals to mankind.
By means of these stories Indian traditional and cultural values are, in an impressively splendid manner passed on to the next generation.
These are the stories from Indian Hindu Scriptures. Let us now read the stories behind its celebration.
1. Rama’s return to Ayodhya.
This story dates back to Treta Yuga when Rama appeared on this earth planet. He was the prince of Ayodhya.
He killed a demonic king named Ravana, who abducted his beloved wife Sita Devi.
His return to his kingdom with his wife and brother Laxmana was celebrated by his people with a grand celebration. They expressed their huge ecstasy, by means of lighting lamps.
It emphasizes the fall of a demonic kingdom and the establishment of a genuine rule.
The sloka below is known as Eka Sloki Ramayanam, where the entire story of Ramayanam can be known at once.
Aadau raama tapovanaadi gamanam,hatvaa mrugam kaanchanam
Vaidehee haranam ,jataayu maranam, sugreeva sambhaashanam |
Baalee nigrahanam ,samudra taranam,lankaapuree daahanam
pashchaat raavana kumbhakarna ,hananametaddhi raamaayanam
Iti ekashlokee raamaayanam sampoornam ||
Once when Rama was sent to the forest, He chased a deer, meanwhile, Sita was kidnapped, Jatayu was killed. Then there were discussions and planning with Sugreeva for the war, Vali was killed, the ocean was crossed and Lanka was burnt. Then Lord Rama slayed Kumbakarna and Ravana and rescued Goddess Sita. This is the story of Ramayana.
2. The killing of Narakasura
Image courtesy of Jeogoauk Goa via creative commons license, some rights reserved,(CC BY-SA 2.0)
This story dates back to Dvapara Yuga. A very powerful demonic king by name Narakasura lived on this earth planet, who was very cruel and evil by nature. The whole earthly kingdoms were under his control.
He aimed to bring Swarga Loka under his control. Indra couldn’t withstand this mighty powerful demon and fled from his abode.
He stole mother Aditi’s earnings, she is the mother of all the Gods and abducted 16,000 women.
All the demigods went to Lord Vishnu for their protection. Lord Vishnu promised to protect them from Narakasura.
Narakasura was the son of Varaha -the Boar incarnation of Lord Vishnu and mother Earth. He had undergone a great penance to please Lord Brahma.
Pleased by his hard Tapasya, lord Brahma appeared and told him to ask for a boon.
He asked to grant him immortality. Brahma rejected to grant his wish and told him to ask for another boon; as being immortal is not possible in a mortal world, where we live.
Therefore, He asked Brahmadev to bless him with a boon that he would not be killed by anyone else in the whole universe other than his own mother.
Because he thought that a mother would never kill her child under any circumstance. His belief was broken when in Dvapara yuga his own mother Satyabama killed him because of his cruel nature. She did not know the truth that he was her son in her previous birth.
Mother earth was born as Satyabama in Dvapara Yuga and got married to Krsna.
At the time of his death, he asked his mother to bless him with a boon that his death should be celebrated all around the world by lighting colorful lamps. And his wish was granted.
The end of this demonic king and his kingdom is celebrated by people all over India by means of lighting lamps and bursting crackers, which symbolizes the end of a dark age and the beginning of new hope.
How old is Diwali?
From these stories, we can conclude that Diwali originated in Treta Yuga during Lord Rama’s period.
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Why is Diwali celebrated for 5 days?
Some questions like this strike us, Come let’s try to understand what activities are actually done on these days, which give us a clue for its five days long celebration.
Day 1 – (25th Oct 2019) – Dhanteras │Dhanvantari Trayodasi.
Image courtesy of Hari Prasad Nadig via creative commons license, some rights reserved,(CC BY-SA 2.0)
It is the first day of this festival, which is generally celebrated two days before Diwali. People worship Dhanvantri who is the god of health, Ayurveda, and medicine along with goddess Laxmi and Kubera(god of wealth).
Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean of milk on this particular day, when it was churned by demigods and demons for Amtritam.
People often buy some metallic things like gold, silver, and copper etc; believing that buying such things would fetch them wealth and good fortune. As “Dhan” means “wealth” in Hindi.
Day 2 – (26th Oct 2019) Naraka Chaturdashi.
Image courtesy of Jeogoauk Goa via creative commons license, some rights reserved,(CC BY-SA 2.0)
It is also known as Choti Diwali. It is celebrated on account of Narakasura’s death. On this day people take an oil bath.
Day 3 – (27th Oct 2019) Lakshmi Puja.
On the 3rd day, they do Lakshmi puja. Traditionally Lakshmi puja is done in the evening after keeping a long fast for the whole day.
The fast is broken as soon as the puja gets over. This is done to please goddess Lakshmi for inviting prosperity and wealth to their homes.
Day 4 – (28th Oct 2019)Govardhan Puja│Balipratipada(Padwa)
This is the day when Lord Indra got defeated by Lord Krsna due to his ignorance. And Krsna established the importance of worshipping Govardhana hill. Since then it has become a tradition to worship Giri Gowardhan. It is also called as Annakot puja.
In some places like Maharastra, it is celebrated as Balipratipada │Bali Padwa. Because according to Hindu scriptures Vamana Deva an incarnation of Krsna pushed King Bali to Patala loka on this same day.
Day 5 – (29th Oct 2019)Bhai Dooj
It is similar to celebrating Rakshabandhan, where there is a loving exchange of gifts from a brother and sister.
Generally, a brother visits his sister’s house where she does his aarti, applies tikka on his forehead.
Brother enjoys nice and delicious food preparations, which are his favorites prepared by his sister. They pray for each other’s wellbeing and the brother promises to protect her throughout her entire life.
Note: – Check Date, Time and Muhurat of all these occasions by visiting drikpanchang.com.
How do we celebrate Diwali at home?
It is celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy. People start the preparation one week before itself. Listed below are the few ways to observe it:-
1. Purchase new clothes for themselves and for their family members.
2. Buy gifts for their friends, for near and dear ones.
3. Prepare traditional sweets and other food items.
4. Clean their house, decorate it with lamps, electric lights, hanging thoranam and rangolis.
5. Keep colorful mud lamps or small lights at the entrance of their house. We generally keep it for three days (27th Oct to 29th Oct).
5. Worship deities like Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha, Lord Kubera, and Lord Dhanventri.
6. Visit houses of relatives and friends or invite them.
7. Send Diwali wishes and messages to people.
8. Burst crackers.
Why do we burst crackers on Diwali?
We burst Crackers on Diwali to show our enthusiasm and joy with a ray of hope, that there is a new beginning after the long night of darkness.
Dishes prepared for Diwali.
The preparation varies from state to state. Some begin preparing one week ahead of Diwali, some on the same day. It depends upon the mood, interest, time constraint and convenience of the preparer. Listed below are some of the dishes prepared for Diwali.
- Ladoo-Besan ladoo/Dates ladoo/Coconut ladoo.
- Adarasam with sugar or jaggery.
- Gulab Jamuns.
- Kaju Katli
- Ribbon Pakoda.
- Barfis-Coconut Barfi.
- Doodh peda.
Diwali Gift Ideas.
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- Give gifts to our friends and family members like dresses, sweets, watches, Jewelry sets.
- Home decorative things like colorful diyas, lights, wall hangings and pictures or idols of god.
Celebrate Diwali with full joy. Share your joy and things with others and help them too, to celebrate this auspicious festival.
We can do some charitable work like donating money to temples, money and usable stuff to the orphanage, old age homes, and to other charitable organizations.
Use environment-friendly crackers. Take full care and precautions while playing with crackers.
The aim of celebrating festivals is to spread happiness and togetherness.
Be cautious of this aim, please don’t do any activity which deviates you from this purpose.
Wish you all a very happy and safe Diwali.
You can check for Diwali wishes with images on my post, Happy Diwali Wishes with Images for our loved ones.
Have a Good Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!