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Diwali is one of the most important festivals in Hinduism. People look forward to it throughout the year. The festival is celebrated with lights, crackers, greeting and gifting each other. This year the festival will be celebrated on 27 October 2019. It is said that when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after completing his exile and defeating Ravan, the evil demon, people celebrated Diwali to express their happiness. The day when Diwali was celebrated by people of Ayodhya, it was the fifteenth day of Krishna Paksha of Kartik Month.
The festival is celebrated all over India but different states have different rituals associated with it. In West Bengal people celebrate Diwali as Kaali Puja while in other parts of Northern India, Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha are worshipped on this day.
Significance Of The Five-Day-Long Diwali Celebration?
Many people don't know the fact that Diwali is a five-day-long festival and each day has its own significance. If you have already started scratching your head and feeling confused then scroll down to know more about this festival.
1. The First Day (Dhanteras): The celebration of Diwali begins with Dhanteras on the 13th day of Krishna Paksha in the Kartik month. The name of the festival has been derived from two different words, namely 'Dhan' which means wealth and 'Teras' which means thirteen.
The day is also known as the 'Dhanvantari Tridasi'. On this day, people worship Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kuber. They buy gold, silver, new utensils and other products to worship Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kuber.
2. The Second Day (Naraka Chaturdasi): People also refer this day 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 following to which they take a bath. This symbolizes the act of purification before celebrating Diwali.
After sunset, people light a small diya and place it outside their house. After this, they offer prayer to Yama, the God of death for seeking protection and a long life.
3. The Third Day (Diwali and Lakshmi Puja): This is the main Diwali celebration and is known as Deepawali. 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. They cook various food items and share the same with their loved ones.
Children enjoy fireworks and seek blessings from their elders and parents.
4. The Fourth Day (Padva/Govardhan Puja): All of you are aware of the story behind it? Long ago, people worshipped Lord Indra, the God of rain and thunder. Lord Krishna convinced people of Braj and Gokul that worshipping Govardhan Hill is better, as it nurtured their lives in many ways.
Lord Indra got angry at this and tried to devastate the village. He brought heavy rains and thus, people pleaded Lord Krishna to save them. 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. People observe this day with huge dedication and devotion.
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 acknowledged 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 offer prayers to God Yama and pray for the health and safety of their brothers. After this, brothers and sisters exchange gifts. 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!