Every year Deepavali also known as Diwali bring enthusiasm and positivity in the atmosphere. Deepavali is a Sanskrit word which means a row of lights ( Deepa – light, avali – row).
It is a five-day festival, where ‘Dhanteras‘ marks the first day. It is believed that goddess Lakshmi was born on this day out of milk ocean during the tug of war between forces of good and evil. People often buy new clothes, jewellery, sweets and utensils on this day.
Choti Diwali or ‘Naraka Chaturdashi’ then follow it. Then comes the main day of the festival- Diwali, it comes on the new moon day which marks the darkest night, and to fight this darkness lightning is one of the most basic practice and ritual of this occasion. It is believed that goddess Lakshmi got married to Lord Vishnu on this day.
Mythology related to Ramayan
According to Ramayan, this day is celebrated because Lord Rama came back to Ayodhya after 14 years with his wife Sita and brother Laxman, after getting victory over Ravan.
Tales as per Mahabharata
On the other side, according to Mahabharat, this day is celebrated as Pandavas return after 13 years of exile (12-year of vanvas and one-year of agyatvas/Agnaatvaas).
Festivals associated with Diwali
It is believed on this day people illuminate their place with lights and diyas to welcome goddess Lakshmi towards their home so that goddess can bless them with prosperity and success. Plus people decorate the entrance of houses with the rangoli made up of rice flour. Moreover, they also keep their windows and gates of their home open to welcome Goddess, Lakshmi.
People also worship Lord Ganesha and Goddess Saraswati along with Goddess Lakshmi. Lord Ganesha is always worshipped before any new and ethical beginning; whereas Goddess Saraswati is worshipped to illuminate and empower knowledge and to learn over ignorance.
Next day is known as ‘Goverdhan‘ when Lord Krishna is worshipped and offered with ‘Annakoot‘ (mountain of food) in which many dishes are made, and then these dishes are consumed by people as Prasad.
Last day of the festival is known as Bhai Dooj, on this day the relation between the brother and sister is celebrated and strengthened with love, blessings and promise.
How does the various community celebrate the day of Diwali?
It is mainly a Hindu festival but is celebrated by other religions and countries as well, like the Jain community celebrate this day as their ‘Lord Mahavir‘ attained salvation on this day. Also, they celebrate New year to the next day Diwali.
Sikhs celebrate this day as their Guru Gobind Singh got released from the confinement of Jahangir, and the foundation of the golden temple was also laid on the same day. According to Hindu Vikram calendar, this day marks the beginning of the new financial year as well.
Rituals and Worships
Diwali is celebrated with different rituals in different places. In West Bengal, people worship goddess, Kali. In Thailand, where Diwali is known as Lam Kriyongh, people lights lamps made up of the banana tree. In Sri Lanka, people make the models of their believed gods from the crystals of sugar. In Nepal, this day is known as Tihar.
Diwali also marks the beginning of winter and new sowing season.
Although people of different religion, country, region celebrate this day with various rituals and practices, the fundamental belief is shared among all, which says that Diwali is the victory of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and light over darkness.