Remember the days when you waited impatiently to bursts crackers, light up earthen lamps, wear new clothes, and eat mouth-watering cuisines? You didn’t know the real purpose of Diwali festival back then, however, you just wanted to shower in its celebration. In fact, we all did the same!
Let’s bring back those old sweet memories. Let’s unearth some questions like when is Diwali, why is it celebrated, what’s its importance and its religious significance.
Diwali also called Deepavali, dipotsav or the festival of lights is a Hindu celebration rejoiced in and around India.
Usually, the festival falls in between October and November. The date is proportional to the position of the moon. This year Diwali will be celebrated on October 19th.
Diwali means ‘row of lights’ or a ‘series of diyas’. It is celebrated on the 15th day of Kartik month. Kartik, also known as Damodar is the sanctified month in Hindu calendar.
The festival of lights signifies the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and enlightenment over ignorance.
In order to rejoice Diwali, people light up earthen lamps or diyas, candles, and electric lights. The celebration is observed for five days, two days before and two days after the main festival. The long celebratory surroundings filled with spirit, AWWW, that’s what we all loved and still love to revel in!
Months and even many days in advance, we hop on a ‘total cleanliness revolution’. Alas! Those were the sweetest days when momma forced us to clean our rooms instead of sending us to school! Didn’t you simply love that- cleaning home, off from school?
We all deck up ourselves and our surroundings come this celebration. Even some businesses in India start their new financial year during the festival as it’s dedicated to Goddess Laxmi- the Deity of Wealth.
Detailed information on Diwali Dates
Let’s take a look at the five-days-long festival with a detailed date-wise information.
Dhanteras- the 1st Day (Tuesday, 2 November, 2021)
Coined from two words- “Dhan” and “Teras”, Dhateras is the first day of Diwali. The word “Dhan” refers to wealth while “teras” means the 13th day of the lunar fortnight as per Hindu Calendar. This day symbolizes prosperity.
There is a long-standing custom of buying gold and many other household items. People welcome Goddess Laxmi on this day. Those related with Ayurveda, welcome Dhanvantari, who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. According to Vedas and ancient books, Dhanvantari introduced Ayurveda to the mankind.
Narak Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali- 2nd Day (Wednesday, 3 November, 2021)
Choti or Small Diwali is rejoiced on the second day of Diwali. It is believed that Lord Krishna, Satyabhama, and Goddess Kali killed the demon king Narkasuara and freed about 16, 000 abducted princesses. People decorate their houses with flowers and rangoli on or before Narak Chaturdasi followed by pujas and sweets making.
Laxmi Pooja- 3rd Day (Thursday, 4 November, 2021)
The third day marks Amavasya also called as the new moon day. It is the most important day in Diwali festivity. As it’s the darkest day, people worship Goddess Laxmi in the evening and light diyas, candles, and electric bulbs to brighten up the whole arena. Worshipping Lord Ganesha, Goddess Saraswati and Lord Kubera is also held by people in different regions of India. Young and old come outside and burst crackers, make merry and savor delectable foods.
Govardhan Pooja- 4th Day (Friday, 5 November, 2021)
The fourth day marks Govardhan Pooja in North India. It’s a day when Lord Krishna crushed the pride and ego of Indra- the God of rain and thunder. The people of Gujarat, however, rejoice the day as the start of Gujarati New Year. People of Maharashtra observe pooja for demon king Bali.
Bhai Duj, Bhaiya Dooj or Bhai Beej- 5th Day (Saturday, 6 November, 2021)
Symbolizing sibling love same as Raksha Bandhan, the fifth day of Diwali is reserved for brothers and sisters. Sisters pray for their brothers’ long life and prosperity. No matter in which part of the country a sister lives in, the brother takes out time to visit her or call her. The day is marked by merry-making, fun and gifts sharing.
Why is Diwali celebrated all over India?
There are various religious and historical backgrounds that contribute to the observance of Diwali festival. The religious significance, however, varies from region to region.
Hindus all around the world rejoice this festival to mark the return of Lord Rama with Wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, and Hanuman to Ayodhya after defeating the demon king Ravana. To honor their arrival, people of Ayodhya illuminated their home and surroundings with diyas.
According to another religious fact, Diwali is celebrated to mark the return of Pandavas from 12 years of exile.
In an another religious account, Diwali is dedicated to Goddess Laxmi who is known for blessing her devotees with wealth and prosperity. It is said that the five-day-long festival Diwali begins the Day goddesses Laxmi came into existence from Samundra Manthan (the churning of cosmic ocean of milk by Gods or Devas). The night of the Diwali marks the day when Goddess Laxmi chose Lord Vishnu as her husband.
According to other Hindu belief, Deepavali is the day on which Lord Vishnu came back to Goddess Laxmi in their abode in Vaikuntha.
There may be differences in rituals and customs from one region of India to another, but the sole essence of the celebration remains the same. People gather together with family and friends to rekindle happy moments. It’s a day to take a break from your busy schedule and have a gala time with loved ones. That’s the beauty of India’s biggest celebration!
Wish you all a “Happy Diwali 2021”!!!