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Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated across India during mid-October or November. It is celebrated by all the communities together and is marked as the victory of light over darkness, good over evil. This year, Diwali will be celebrated on 27 October 2019.
From childhood, we have heard stories related to this festival. Each part of India carries different versions of the stories for the day. However, collectively speaking, it is a time to empower your spiritual life, to remove the negative vibes from both inside and outside the minds and move on towards the better-enlightened version of oneself. It is also a time of a get together for the entire family where the festival brings positivity and happiness all around.
Not just that, Diwali is also an auspicious time for shopping. We buy new clothes or gifts for our friends, relatives, colleagues and neighbours. Exchanging gifts is an important part of the celebration. This includes dry fruits, sweets and seasonal specialities. Crackers are also an inevitable part of the Diwali celebration.
Knowing the legends behind the festival will make the celebration more worthy. Here, in this article, we explore why we celebrate Diwali.
The Victory Of Rama
According to Ramayana, Lord Rama lived in exile with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana and at the end of this period, Rama killed Ravana, the King of Demons. Diwali embarked as a victory of Rama over Ravana, the good over the evil. The entire Ayodhya was illuminated with lights and fireworks as a symbol of happiness and excitement.
Killing Of Narakasura
Another reason or story behind the celebration of Diwali is that of the killing of Narakasura. It is believed that Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura and rescued many women from his captivity. Hence ,the day is also considered for offering prayers to Lord Krishna. Especially women should offer prayers to him.
Goddess Lakshmi Rescued By Lord Vishnu
There is another legend which says Diwali is celebrated as a mark of rescue for Goddess Lakshmi by Lord Vishnu from King Bali. Goddess Lakshmi was imprisoned and Lord Vishnu, in his fifth incarnation, rescued the Goddess and this day is celebrated as Diwali.
Incarnation Of Goddess Lakshmi
Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, is considered to have been incarnated from the deep sea a day before Diwali. Some parts of India celebrate Diwali as the birthday of Goddess Lakshmi. The legend also says that Goddess Lakshmi married Lord Vishnu on the same day.
In Bengal and Odisha, Diwali is celebrated in the name of Goddess Kali. When once most of the gods were defeated by the demons, Goddess Kali got enraged and started killing all and it was Lord Shiva who could then pacify her temper. That day is also believed to be the day of Diwali.
The Return Of The Pandavas
Diwali is also related to Mahabharata. The Pandavas were exiled for 13 years because they were defeated by the Kauravas in the game of gambling. But, the entire kingdom loved the Pandavas and they celebrated the return of the five brothers after 13 years on the day of Diwali, with lights and sweets. Earthen lamps were lighted as a sign of happiness.
Coronation Of Vikramaditya
Here comes another legend associated with Diwali, where a historic event is related to the day and considered significant. The coronation of king Vikramaditya was performed on the day of Diwali. Thus, some communities observe the historic and the religious days together.