Diwali, also called Deepavali or Deepawali is one of the main festivals of India. It is one of the most awaited and immensely cherished festivals celebrated across India and in parts of Nepal. Diwali is popularly known as “Festival of Lights” is celebrated with great gusto and is observed as an official holiday across India.

When is Diwali ?

Diwali is one of the most important Festivals of India and is celebrated with much fun and fervour on the new moon day, which marks the end of Ashwin and beginning of Kartik months of the Hindu calendar.

 Celebrating the victory of Good over Evil: Dusshera!

The tenth day after the Navratri, is called Dussehra, which is celebrated to mark Lord Ram’s killing of Ravana. It is believed that, Ravana, the King of Lanka, had kidnapped Lord Ram’s wife – Sita and Ram went with an army to Lanka to get her back.  Click here to know about the legend and celebrations of Dussehra

Diwali is generally celebrated for 5 days, each of which has a cultural significance of its own.

Two Days before Diwali  – Dhanteras

Dhanteras is the first day of the 5 day celebrations. This is an auspicious day to start business ventures or to invest in gold/silver. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped from this day forward, through the preceding days of the festival, for wealth and prosperityClick here to get details about Dhanteras puja, legend and much more

One Day before Diwali – Chhoti Diwali

Narkasur Chaturdashi, popularly known as Chhoti Diwali is the second day of festivities.  It’s believed that Lord Krishna killed the demon King Narakasur on this day, triumphing over evil. Lakshmi and Ganesh are worshipped and preparations are made for the next day. Click here to know about Chhoti Diwali 

The Big Day – Diwali

Diwali or Deepawali is the 3rd and the main day of celebrations. It’s believed that Lord Ram, Lakshman and Sita made a 20-day journey and finally reached Ayodhya on this day, following the defeat and death of the demon king Ravan in Lanka. To welcome them, all the streets and houses in the kingdom were lit up with lamps.

This custom of lighting up houses with lamps (diya or deep) is followed till date. People make rangolis in their houses and offices and pray for prosperity and good fortune. It’s an age-old tradition to burst fire-crackers, gamble, visiting and wishing friends and relatives and exchanging gifts. The general atmosphere of merriment and joyfulness is present and prevalent in all households.

And it Continues – Govardhana Puja

The next festival in line is Govardhana Puja, on the 4th day. Also called Annakut, this festival is celebrated in honour of Lord Krishna defeating Lord Indra - the Rain God. Click here to know more about Govardhan Puja and its legend

Last Day - Bhai Dooj

The festivities conclude with Bhai Dooj on the 5th day. Known by different names in various regions of India, this festival is for brothers and sisters. A Tika ceremony takes place, sisters pray for the good health and prosperity of brothers and our showered with gifts in return. Click here to know about Bhai Dooj celebrations and legend

Diwali or Deepavali

Diwali, is known by various names in different regions of India. Originally, the name of the festival was Deepavali, which has its origin from Sanskrit. "Deep" means lamps or lighted clay pots in Sanskrit, while "avali" mean rows, so Deepavali literally translates to "Rows of Deep" in Sanskrit.

Deepavali is commonly known as Diwali, which is a short form of Deep and avali. The other names and spellings of Diwali are, Deepawali, Devali, and Dipabali, Diwali is referred to as Deepavali Tihar in Nepal.

Significance of Diwali

Diwali as a festival is not only significant to Hindus, but holds importance in Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism as well. For Hindus, it is associated with the return of Lord Rama, Sita and Lord Lakshman to Ayodhya, after 14 years of exile from his Kingdom on the orders of his father, King Dashratha and the victory over the demon Ravana.

On this day, he was welcomed to the kingdom of Ayodhya with rows of Deep (clay lamps) illuminating the streets, houses, and firecrackers were burst throughout the kingdom in honor of Lord Rama’s return. Thus, there is a tradition of lighting oil lamps is followed to symbolize the victory of good over evil and freedom from spiritual darkness.

Hindus, prepare to welcome Goddess Lakshmi by making beautiful  Rangoli, and Paduka (footsteps) on the entrance of their homes, schools, offices and various other places,  that would allure goddess Lakshmi to visit one’s abode and bring prosperity along with her. Click here to read in details about the significance of Diwali in Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism

Customs of Diwali

There are many customs and traditions associated with Diwali. Some rituals observed during Diwali are bursting of firecrackers, playing cards, lightning of lamps, wearing new clothes, distribution of sweets and dry fruits, exchange of gifts etc. Click here to read about the rituals and customs of Diwali

Diwali - A Five Days Festival

Diwali celebrations spread over five days, with each day holding its own significance and different rituals are observed each day.

The first day of the festival is "Dhanteras". New utensils and silver ware is bought on this day and it is the start of a new financial year for businesses. The second day is “Chhoti Diwali”. On this day, preparations are made for the main day of festivities on the next day, and many families observe the tradition of playing cards and gambling.

The next day, or third day is Diwali, the main day of the festival. Houses are lit up with diya (clay lamps), Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped, and firecrackers are burst. The fourth day is the Govardhan Puja and finally the five days of festivities and celebrations conclude with Bhai Dooj – a festival for brothers and sister, on the last day. Click here to read about the five days of Diwali celebrations

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