DIWALI - FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
In 2013, I was living in New Delhi, India. Around november everybody was only talking about one thing: "Diwali is coming " , "What are your plans for Diwali" etc
I thought it was like a Street festival so I asked everybody where it is celebrated. They said it is more like a private festival, which determines ones luck for the next year.
On Diwali day, I was far from festival spirit in my hotel room but I heard everybody in the city lighting fireworks and crackers, which turned into amazing light Show for next five days.
Now I will explain to those who are as confused as me about what is Diwali? And why it is so important...
What is Diwali?
Diwali (Deepavali) is which is also known "festival of lights", is a Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year. It is a festival signifying the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.
It lasts for 5 days and each day has a meaning and special rituals. Hindus, Sikhs and Jains celebrate the festival with different rituals but the main idea stays the same.
Diwali, the festival of lights, sees millions attend firework displays, prayers and celebratory events across the world every autumn.
To celebrate, houses are decorated with candles and colorful lights and huge firework displays are held while families feast and share gifts.
Why is Diwali Celebrated?
Diwali is all about bringing lights over darkness. Because according to belief, lights celebrate return of Rama to his capital city Ayodhya after defeating the demon king Ravana in Sri Lanka. Legend has it that Rama rescues his wife Sita and when they are returning they are celebrated with lights.
5 Days of Diwali
Day 1: Lighting Lakshmi
This day marks the beginning of deepawali celebrations. On this day, Lord Dhanwantari (the physician of the Gods, an incarnation of Vishnu) came out of the ocean with Ayurvedic for mankind. For Indians, this is the most favorable day to buy gold in this day because it is believed that gold double its worth if you buy it on this day.
Day 2: Little Diwali
On this day Lord Krishna destroyed the demon Narakasur and freed the world made from fear. For this reason, the day celebrates to victory of good over evil and light over darkness.
On this day, one should massage the body with oil to relieve it of tiredness, bathe and rest so that Diwali can be celebrated with devotion.
Day 3: Actual Diwali
This is the actual day of Diwali and Hindu New Years Eve. On this day worship unto Mother Lakshmi is performed. Hindus cleanse their homes and themselves and pray for Goddess Lakshmi. According to the belief, Lakshmi visits the cleanest house first to offer her blessings of prosperity. Devotees keep the rooms of their home pristine on this day. Lamps are lit to light Lakshmi’s path into each house.
DAY 4 - New Year's Day (1st Day) This is the first New Year’s Day according to Indian calendar. Everybody greets each other with good wishes and a happy new year. Gifts are exchanged between family and relatives. Some men give little presents to their wives on this day.
DAY 5 - Bhai Bhij or Bhai Duuj (2nd Day)
I would like to call this day as sisters and brothers day J Because on this day, sisters call their brothers and his family. They invited them to their homes for a meal. Brothers gives a gift or leave money under their plates when they have finished their meal.