Knowing the 'Festival of Light' -- Diwali
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Knowing the 'Festival of Light' -- Diwali

By Trisha Pragya, Content Writer, Siliconindia   |   Tuesday, 06 November 2018, 11:04 Hrs
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Diwali, a festival every Indian looks forward to throughout the year. Each year, the festival is celebrated across the length & breadth of the country with much enthusiasm, fanfare, gaiety and flourish. It symbolizes the win of light over darkness, good over evil and hope over despair, and thus named as ‘Festival of Light’. This ‘Festival of Light’ is a five-day celebration, wherein family & friends come together, light earthen lamps (diyas) in their sweat homes & locality, exchange gifts, play gambling, burn crackers and feast on sweet delicacies.



Credence Behind Celebrating Diwali



Traditionally considered as Hindu festival, Diwali is one of those festivals that not only unify different religions (Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism) but also amalgamate distinct regions and culture of the nation. There are various stories about the origin of the festival. Among them the most common is the celebration done on the occasion of homereturning (Ayodhya) of Lord Rama after defeating the Raksha King, Ravan, after serving 14 years exile in the forest. While some consider it to be marriage of Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, with Lord Vishnu and even referred to as the birthday of Goddess Lakshmi. On the other hand, Diwali also marks the anniversary of Nirvana or liberation of Mahavira’s soul in Jainism, conversion of emperor Akbar to Buddhism and homecoming of great Sikh Guru Har Gobind Singh from the prison of Jahangir along with numerous other Hindu gurus.



According to Hindu mythology, five days of Diwali celebration begin with Dhanteras followed by choti & main Diwali, and Govardhan Puja, and ends with Bhai Dooj. The first thing that comes to our mind when we talk about Diwali is lots of sweets and delicious snacks wherein these food items leave no stone unturned to add color & flavor to the spirit of the festival. But, the festival is more than lights, sweets and card parties.



Here’s a glimpse of how uniquely Diwali is grandly celebrated all over the nation:



North India: Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Srinagar, Delhi & Punjab



diwali



On Diwali night, huge effigies of Ravana are burned at several places in these regions, signifying Lord Rama’s win over the demon king. Diwali is an elaborate affair in Varanasi where it starts with special evening Ganga aarti and nearly thousands of earthen lamps float over the surface of river Ganga. Each year, a competition is held in the pink city – Jaipur for the best decorated markets and winner is awarded whereas in Punjab, the festival coincides with Bandi Chhor Diwas and gurudwara & homes are lit with diyas and lights. Apart from this, a famous night mela is held at the capital city Delhi when one can buy all major items starting from home décors to various types of sweets for the festival.



Eastern India: West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam &Odisha



west bengal



The celebration here is similar to other parts of the country except for one ritual that forecast the puja of the family’s ancestors & forefathers. Alongside, people burns jute stems to enlighten the dark path which they believe spirits of the ancestors take to return back to heaven. People also lit lamps on long poles to guide their ancestors’ soul. In West Bengal, people worship Maa Kali for three days and also sacrifice animals to appease the deity. Pandals housing Maa Kali idol are erected across the states where priests chant mantras and devotees grants hibiscus flowers, special dishes and water to the goodness.



Western India: Gujarat & Maharashtra



diwali-gujarat



The preparation for the five-day festival begins well in advance in western states. Markets gear-up almost a month earlier for Diwali shoppers with all festival items and home decors. On night preceding Diwali, Gujarati design rangoli in their verandas and images of small footprints in the doorsteps inviting goodness Lakshmi to their homes. The festival begins with bursting of crackers and end with Bhau Beej. The third day is commemorated as the New Year for the people of Gujarat.



Southern India: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, & Tamil Nadu



south india



In Southern India, Naraka Chaturdashi is the main day of Diwali. On the morning of Naraka Chaturdashi, people take oil bathe before sunrise; wear new dress and burn crackers. In Tamil Nadu, newlyweds spend their first Thalai Deepavali after marriage in the bride's parental home. They take blessings from their elders for a happy married life, visit temples and receive gift from relatives & friends.



Diwali is not just celebrated on grade scale in India, but also across the world (Nepal, Sri Lanka, Africa, Mauritius, Australia Singapore and others). Let this festival of light brings immense peace, prosperity, success, health and joy in everybody’s life.



 Wishing you all a Happy Diwali!



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