Diwali | multi day festival
Diwali most popularly referred as festival of lights is one the most important
and highly awaited festival for all Hindus. This festival is hugely cherished in
all the states of India as well neighboring countries like Nepal. Originally,
the festival was known by the name as Deepawali, which has its origin from
Sanskrit, meaning "rows of Deep".
The festival of Diwali is not only significant to Hindus, but, has importance in other religions also as Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. For Hindus, it is associated with the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya, after his 14 years of exile and victory over the demon Ravana. And his welcome back to his home place Ayodhya, was marked by the rows of lamps, lightened throughout the kingdom. Thus, there is a tradition of lighting oil lamps that symbolize the victory of good over evil and freedom from spiritual darkness.
Along with the above traditions there are many more festivities associated with the festival of lights as burning of crackers, playing cards, lightning of lamps, wearing new clothes, distribution of sweets, exchange of gifts etc.
Festivities for Five Days:
Diwali is most awaited festival for people of all age groups. People start preparing for this festival, well in advance. Thorough cleaning, painting and decorating of houses is done before the onset of the celebrations for this festival. The pious festival of Diwali is celebrated for five consecutive days, with each day having its own significance and set of rituals.
Dhanteras, the thirteenth day of the Krishna Paksh, in Hindu month of Kartik is the first day of celebrations. This day is meant for spending money and buying new household items like electronic pieces or utensils. There is trend of buying new silver coin on this day which is used for Llaxmi Puja on the day of Diwali. The tradition of lighting lamps begins from this very day. Normally, odd numbers say 5 or 11 Diyas or the earthen lamps are lit on this day and these are gradually increased to 21, 51, 101 etc on the consecutive days.
The fourteenth day of the Krishna Paksh, in Hindu month of Kartik is the second day of celebrations. The day is believed as mini Diwali and mainly meant for the preparations of main Diwali, the next day. Lamps are lit in the evening and the tradition of playing cards is observed in many families.
The new moon day of Kartik month is the third day of celebrations. The day is witnessed by burning crackers and lighting lots of lamps and candles in a row along with the worshipping of Goddess Lakshmi.
Govardhan Puja, the first day of Kartik Shukla Paksh is the fourth day of celebrations marked by meeting and exchanging gifts with friends and relatives.
The second day of Kartik Shukla Paksh is the fifth day of celebrations. This day witnesses the eternal love between brothers and sisters.
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