Diwali means light, crackers, fun and complete celebration. You wait throughout the year for this auspicious festival and when it falls at the end of October or at November; your enjoyment touches the sky.
Diwali is celebrated differently in different states. If it is celebrated as Kaali Puja in Bengal, and in Northern India, Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha are worshipped on that day.
What is the significance of the five-day long Diwali celebration? When you celebrate Navratri for nine days, you know you are worshipping the nine avatars of Goddess Durga.
But do you know why Diwali is celebrated for 5 days? Yes, there is some significance of each day of this festival. The Diwali celebration falls on the Krishna Paksha of the Kartik masam.
It starts from the 13th lunar day of dark fortnight and extends up to five days. Read on to know more about the significance of each of the days.
1. The First Day (Dhanteras): The celebration of Diwali begins with Dhanteras on the 13th day of Amavasya. 'Dhan' means wealth and 'Teras' means thirteen. This is also known as 'Dhanvantari Tridasi'. On this day, people worship Goddess Lakshmi and buy gold, silver or new utensils to welcome Mother Lakshmi to their house.
2. The Second Day (Naraka Chaturdasi): This is also known as Choti Diwali. According to myths, Lord Krishna killed Narakasur, the demon, on this day and made the world free from his fear. On this day, people apply aromatic oil on their head and body and take a bath. This symbolizes the act of purification before celebrating Diwali.
3. The Third Day (Diwali and Lakshmi Puja): This is the main Diwali celebration. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on this day and every household is decorated with lights, candles, diyas and rangolis to keep all evils at bay and end darkness from their lives. People wear new clothes, exchange gifts and enjoy the festival with crackers.
4. The Fourth Day (Padva/Govardhan Puja): All of you are aware about the story behind it. Long ago, people worshipped Lord Indra, the God of rain and thunder. Lord Krishna convinced people of Vrindavan that worshipping Govardhan Hill is better, as it helped their life in many ways. Lord Indra got angry at this and tried to devastate Vrindavan. Lord Krishna saved them all by holding the Govardhan Hill on his little finger. From that day on, Govardhan Puja is performed on the fourth day of Diwali.
5. The Fifth Day (Bhai Duj): This is one of the sweetest occasions that is performed by the Hindus. On this day, Lord Yama visited his sister, Yamuna and enjoyed her welcome. He gave her a boon that every year he would visit his sister and it will liberate her from all her sins. On the last day of Diwali, sisters pray for their brothers and draw 'tilak' on their foreheads. They exchange gifts and sisters also cook delicious meals for their brothers.
Thus, the five-day celebration ends with 'Bhai-Duj'. This is also the end of a month-long celebration that starts from Ganesh Chaturthi. These occasions have lots of interesting stories behind them. But, the most important significance is to enjoy life with your loved ones and collect lifelong memories. Wish you all a happy and safe Diwali!