Diwali the festival of lights is a 5 day long celebration that starts on Dhanteras and the festivities ends on Bhai Dooj. Diwali is celebrated on the amavasya (new moon day) of the Kartik month that falls on 24th October 2022, this year.
Why is Diwali celebrated ?
Diwali also known as Deepavali means row of lights. Diwali is celebrated to mark Lord Rama's return to Ayodhya after a period of 14 years exile. When Lord Rama along with his wife Sita and brother Laxman returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana, the villagers welcomed their king by lighting diyas and beautifully decorated the entire kingdom. The festival of Diwali signifies victory of light over darkness. Although different communities in India have different reasons and stories to celebrate Diwali.
- According to mythology, Goddess Laxmi was born during Samudra Manthan, the churning of ocean by demons & deities. So the festival of Diwali is celebrated to mark her birth.
- In Treta yug, King Mahabali held Goddess Laxmi as a prisoner. Lord Vishnu incarnated as Vamana and tricked the king who ended up giving all his wealth. So Diwali signifies the defeat of King Mahabali and that is why Goddess Laxmi is prayed on this day.
- In Jainism, the festival of Diwali commemorates Lord Mahavira's attainment of moksha (liberation) .
- In Sikhism, Bandi Chhor Diwas is celebrated on the day of Diwali. Sri Guru Hargobind Ji (6th guru) was released along with 52 hindu kings from emperor Jahangir's captivity.
- Swami Dayanand Saraswati , the founder Arya Samaj attained enlightenment on the new moon day of Kartik month.
- As per Mahabharata, Pandavas returned to Hastinapur after 13 years of exile. The homecoming of Pandavas on kartik amavasya was celebrated by lighting lamps (diyas).
Diwali is a 5 day long celebration, let's have a look at all the events.
Day 1 : Dhanteras - People purchase gold, silver, kitchen utensils, new clothes on this day.
Day 2: Naraka Chaturdashi - It is believed that on this day Lord Krishna killed the demon Naraka. This day is also known as Choti Diwali.
Day 3: Diwali - The main day of the festival when people pray to Lord Ganesha & Goddess Lakshmi and exchange sweets, gifts with their relatives & neighbours.
Day 4: Govardhan Puja - A day after Diwali falls Govardhan Puja or Annakut Puja
Day 5: Bhai Dooj - On the 5th day, the sister apply tilak on their brother's forehead and pray for their good health and long life.