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.
Diwali is a time of joy, togetherness, and reflection. The preparations for this grand festival begin weeks in advance, with people cleaning and decorating their homes, buying new clothes, and exchanging gifts. The highlight of Diwali is the lighting of diyas (oil lamps) and candles, which illuminate the surroundings and create a magical ambiance.
Fireworks and firecrackers are also an integral part of Diwali celebrations, adding a touch of sparkle and excitement to the night sky. The vibrant colors and mesmerizing patterns of the fireworks mirror the exuberance and enthusiasm of the festivities.
What is the significance of lighting diyas?
Lighting diyas or earthen lamps during Diwali is not just a tradition, but a profound symbol of spiritual enlightenment. The flickering flame of the diya represents the inner light or soul that resides within each individual. It is a reminder to kindle the flame of knowledge, goodness, and positivity in our hearts and spread it to the world.
Just as the darkness is dispelled by the radiant glow of the diyas, Diwali encourages us to overcome the darkness of ignorance and negativity in our lives. It is a time to introspect, seek blessings from the divine, and embark on a journey towards self-improvement and self-realization.
How can you celebrate Diwali in a meaningful way?
While Diwali is a time of celebration, it is also an opportunity to embrace the deeper spiritual significance of the festival. Here are a few ways to make your Diwali celebrations more meaningful:
1. Practice gratitude: Take a moment to express gratitude for all the good things and blessings in your life. Reflect on the positive aspects and achievements of the past year.
2. Spread joy: Share the festive spirit with others by giving back to the community. Donate to charitable organizations, volunteer your time, or simply perform acts of kindness.
3. Connect with loved ones: Diwali is a time for family and friends to come together. Reach out to your loved ones, spend quality time with them, and strengthen your bonds.
4. Light up your mind: Along with lighting diyas, engage in activities that enlighten your mind. Read a book, listen to uplifting music, or engage in meditation and self-reflection.
The Essence Of Diwali
Diwali is not just a festival; it is a celebration of light, love, and life. It reminds us to embrace the beauty and goodness that resides within us and to share it with the world. Just as a single diya can illuminate a dark room, let us strive to be the light that brightens the lives of others.
As we immerse ourselves in the festivities of Diwali, let us remember that the true essence of this festival lies in the illumination of our hearts and minds. May the divine light guide us on our journey towards inner peace, happiness, and fulfillment.