Diwali – India’s Favorite Festival History, Importance, Celebration

Do you want to know everything about the Diwali festival?
Do you know – Why Diwali is also called Deepawali?

If Yes! Keep reading. In this article, We will tell you Its Importance, History, Celebration in India?

Introduction to Diwali

India is considered a country of festivals. The major festivals of India are Holi, Rakshabandhan, Dussehra, and Deepawali, but among all these festivals, Deepawali is the most prominent festival.

This is the festival of lamps. When we remove the darkness of ignorance and light the essence of knowledge, we experience an infinite and supernatural joy. Deepawali is also a symbol of light in the form of knowledge.

Lamps lit on this day, so it is also called the festival of lamps. Deepawali is also called Diwali in Tadbhava language. People celebrate Diwali with great enthusiasm.

The festival of Deepawali celebrates for five days. Since the festival of Dussehra, preparations start for Deepawali. Those who do jobs are also given a few days off to celebrate the festival so they can celebrate Diwali happily with their family.

Deewali celebrates in October or November. On the day of this occasion, people burn rows of lamps and light up to express their happiness at night. Towns and villages illuminate with rows of lights. It seems as the night has changed into a day.

Meaning of Deepawali – Diwali Celebration

The word Deepavali is derived from Sanskrit. Deepawali comprises two words Deep and Aavali, which means decorating with lamps. Deepawali is also called the festival of lights and Deepotsav.

This auspicious festival of Diwali celebrates the new moon day of Kartik month. This festival has been celebrating in the welcome of the winter season by leaving the rainy season.

History of Diwali

When Lord Sri Rama returned to Ayodhya after killing Lankapati Ravana and cutting the exile of fourteen years, the Ayodhya people lit lamps to cheer and welcome him on his arrival.

This day celebrates with great enthusiasm in the sacred memory of the same. On this day, the memory of Lord Rama wholly refreshes. Also, it is believed that Lakshmiji was born during Samudra Manthan on this day. 

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That is why Lakshmiji has been worshiping on Diwali and praying to gain wealth in every house. The same day, Lord Krishna killed a demon named Narakasura.

Preparations for Diwali- How people celebrate this auspicious festival

People prepare for Diwali from Dussehra itself. Before Diwali, all the people clean their houses and get the house painted.

On Diwali festival, people buy new clothes, candles, toys, firecrackers, sweets, colors to make Rangoli and many items to decorate the houses.

Cleanliness

While Deepawali is a symbol of inner wisdom, it is also a symbol of external hygiene. In homes, mosquitoes, bedbugs, fleas, etc. slowly make their home.

That is why cleaning, painting, and whitening of houses starts several days before Diwali. The entire house is brightened and cleaned. People decorate homes to suit their wishes.

People wear new clothes on the day of Deepawali. Further, Lightning-colored skirting uses to decorate the houses. Deepawali is the festival of happiness and entertainment in India; a wave of happiness arises from children to older people.

The sound of fireworks and firecrackers echoes the whole sky. People get the walls painted at the beginning of Sharad Ritu and decorate the rooms with paintings. Due to the burning of lamps and Diya, flying harmful insects also kills. That is safer for people.

Importance of Deepawali festival

Deepawali has great importance in India. This day is considered a symbol of the victory of light over darkness.

This celebrates in a beautiful and very traditional way. Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswati, and Lord Ganesha worship on Diwali.

Rituals of Diwali

Rituals and preparations for Diwali begin a few days or weeks earlier. The carnival formally starts two days before the evening in Diwali and finishes two days later. Each day has various rituals and meaning:

Day 1- Dhanteras

Dhanteras (celebrated in the north and west of India) begins the five-day festival. Boys and men arrange outdoor lighting and carry out all ongoing renovation work.

This day is the birthday of Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and the birthday of Dhanvantari – the god of wellbeing and healing. On Dhanteras night, LEDs (lamps) burn all night in honor of Lakshmi and Dhanvantari.

Dhanteras is furthermore an important shopping day, particularly for gold or silver products. Traders and retailers accumulate inventory, put items for sale, and get ready for the day. Lakshmi Puja takes place in the evening. Some people decorate their stores, workplaces, or places that symbolize their livelihood and wellbeing.

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Day 2- Naraka Chaturdasi

This is the second day of the ceremony, also called Choti Diwali. Hindu literature says that the asura (demon) Narakasura was killed that day by Krishna, Satyabhama, and Kali.

It celebrates the day early in the morning with religious rituals and holidays. This day is widely celebrated as Diwali in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Goa, and Karnataka.

Usually, home decorations and colorful floor patterns called rangoli are made on or in front of Narak Chaturdasi. In some regions, it holds special bathing rituals, such as a fragrant oil bath, followed by fine pujas.

Women decorate their hands with henna. Families are also busy making homemade sweets for the main Diwali.

Day 3- Lakshmi Puja

The third day is the main celebration. People wear new clothes or the best outfits when the evening approaches. Then the Diya is lit, it offers the puja to Lakshmi and one or more additional deities, depending on the region of India usually Ganesha, Saraswati, and Kubera.

Lakshmi symbolizes wealth and prosperity, and it invokes her blessings for a good year. It is believed that Lakshmi wanders the earth on Diwali night. In the evening in Diwali, people open the doors and windows to welcome Lakshmi and burn Diya to the window and balcony to invite her. 

After the puja, kids and elders go outside and celebrate by lighting firecrackers. Children like fires and various small fireworks and adults play with the ground chakra, Vishnu chakra, annar pots, the bomb, rockets, and more massive fireworks.

Fireworks mean the celebration of Diwali and a way to scare away evil spirits. After the fireworks, people return for a family feast, conversations, and sweets.

Day 4- Padua, Balipratipada

The day after Diwali celebrates as Padua. This day ritually celebrates love and mutual devotion between wife and husband. Husbands give thoughtful gifts or sophisticated gifts to their respective spouses.

In many regions, it invites newly married daughters and husbands to special meals. This day is also a special day for marriage, as are anniversaries in other parts of the world. The day after the Diwali devotees perform Goverdhan puja in honor of Lord Krishna.

Day 5- Bhai Dooj

The last day of the carnival is known as Bhai dooj or Bhai tika in Nepal, It celebrates the loving sister-brother relationship, in a spirit similar to Raksha Bandhan, but with various rituals.

The day ritually emphasizes love and relation bond between siblings. It is a day when sisters and brothers meet, perform puja, praying for the wellbeing of their brothers, and then return to the ritual of sharing food, giving gifts and talking.

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In ancient times it was an autumn day when the brothers traveled to meet their sisters or bring their sister’s family to the houses in the countryside to celebrate the bond between sister and brother.

During this festive occasion, Hindu, Jain, and Sikh communities also mark charity, kindness, and peace. For example, Every year on Diwali at the international border, Indian forces get closer to Pakistani forces and offer traditional Indian sweets on the occasion of Diwali. Pakistani soldiers, expecting a gesture, return goodwill with an assortment of Pakistani sweets.

The evil activities

In a festival made for a useful purpose, disorders also arise later. Many people worship the Lakshmi whom they worshiped with great reverence for the attainment of wealth and happiness. However, gambling has become a practice which is a stigma for the society and the holy festivals.

Apart from this, many ill effects of firecrackers are also seen in the modern era. In today’s time, firecrackers are used very loudly all over India. It is measured that India’s pollution levels increase at a high level on Deepawali.

By using firecrackers, we ruin our environment to a great extent for a little fun. Fireworks are very harmful to both our health and the environment. There are many accidents because of firecrackers, which occurs among children and elders.

The smoke from firecrackers causes asthma and many other diseases. There is much pollution because of firecrackers like – air pollution because of smoke, noise pollution due to the sound of firecrackers, land pollution due to poisonous material falling on the earth, water pollution because of the dangerous firecrackers getting into the water, etc.

Few words on Deepawali

Deepawali is our religious festival. The festival of Diwali holds a special place among all festivals. We must preserve the traditions of our festivals in every situation. Traditions make it easy for us to remember its beginning and its purpose.

Traditions take us to the beginning of the festival where we know our primitive culture. Today we also celebrate our festivals by giving them the color of modern civilization, but we should not spoil its fundamental nature. It should always celebrate properly.

Gambling and alcohol consumption is awful, and we should always avoid this. There should not be much expenditure on fireworks. We all must maintain the sanctity of our festivals towards society.

On this day, people can give lectures and lead the people on the auspicious path. This festival provides the impetus to live a new enjoyment of life. We should take special care that celebrating the festival of Diwali.