Festivals

Diwali-the festival of joy

Diwali is the Indian festival. It is also Deepavali. The festival is celebrate by Hindus, jains, sikhs, and some Buddhist. It is a 5 days festival. Dipavali is the festival of light. It symbolises victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. The festival has Dhanteras, Naraka Chaturdasi, Lakshmi Puja/Kali Puja, Govardhan Puja/ Balipratipada, and Bhai Dooj/Vishwakarma Puja.

Word Diwali is derive from sanskrit language dipawali which means row or series of lights. Word dip is also derive from sanskrit language which means lamp, light, lantern, candle, thing glows, shines, illuminates or knowledge. It is celebrate in the kartik month as per the Hindu calender.

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History: 

The Diwali festival is likely a fusion of harvest festivals in ancient India. It is mention in Sanskrit texts such as the Padma Purana, the Skanda Purana both of which were complete in the second half of the 1st millennium CE.

The Dias (lamps) are mention in Skanda Kishore Purana as symbolizing parts of the sun, describing it as the cosmic giver of light and energy to all life and which seasonally transitions in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik.

King Harsha refers to Deepavali, in 7th century Sanskrit play Nagananda, as Dīpapratipadotsava (dīpa – light, pratipadā – first day, utsava – festival), where lamps lit and newly engage brides and grooms receive gifts.

Rajasekhara refer to Deepavali as Dipamalika in his 9th century Kavyamimamsa, wherein he mentions tradition of homes being whitewash oil lamps decorate homes, streets, markets in night.

Religious:

As per the Hindu religious significance of Diwali varies regionally within India. It is connect to legend in Hindu epic Ramayana, Where Diwali is day Ram, Sita, Lakshman, and Hanuman reach Ayodhya. After 14 years in exile after Ram’s army of good defeated demon king Ravana’s army of evil.

Dwapara yuga period, Krishna, an avtar of Vishnu, killed demon Narakasura evil of Pragjyotishapura, in Assam released 16000 girls held captive by Narakasura. Diwali was celebrate as significance of triumph of good over evil after Krishna’s Victory over Narakasura. The day before diwali is remember as Naraka Chaturdasi.

Dhanteras / Dhanatrayodashi:

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Word dhanteras is derive from Dhan which means wealth and teras it means thirteenth, in the dark fortnight of kartik and the beginning of Diwali. Many people clean their houses and office.they put diya near god Ganesh and goddess Lakshmi.

Rangoli is prepare near the doorstep of house and office premises. Rangoli is made fron flowers, rice, flour, wheat, pulses, etc. Some people also make Rangoli from the sand.

Also on this day people decorate house, temples and markets. People also do the major shopping of utensils, home equipement, jewellery, and firecrackers on this day. Then in the evening family do the prayer of lakshmi and Ganesha.

Naraka Chaturdashi:

Naraka Chaturdashi is also known as Chhoti Diwali. It is celebrate on the fourteenth day of second fortnight of Lunar month. Narak means hell and chhoti means little. The rituals of the day are interprete as ways to liberate any souls from their sufferimg in Naraka or hell. It a reminder of spiritual auspiciousness.

For Hindus it is day to pray for peace. A mythological interpretation of this festive day is destruction of the demon Narakasura by Krishna.A victory that frees 16,000 imprisoned princesses kidnap by Narakasura. On this day people purchase festive food and sweets. Variety of sweets are prepare. Families prepare homemade delicaces for lakshmi poojan. People meet each other and exchange the gifts and sweets with their relatives.

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In Tamil Nadu, Goa, and karnataka this day is celebrate as the Diwali festival. Marathi and South indian receive oil massage from their elders in the familyon this day and then take a ritual bath all before sunrises.

such as Ganesha, Saraswati, Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, Hanuman, or Kubera. The lamps from the puja ceremony are for light more earthenware lamps, which are placed in rows along the parapets of temples and houses, while some diyas are set adrift on rivers and streams. After the puja, people go outside and celebrate by lighting up patakhe (fireworks) together, and then share a family feast and mithai (sweets, desserts).

Lakhmi Puyjan / Kali Pooja:

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The 3rd day is the height of festival and coincides with last day when Hindu, Jain and Sikh temples and home are glowing with light. Thereby making the festival of lights.

Youngest member in the family visit the elders of the community, small business owners give gifts or bonus to their employees between dhanteras and Lakshmi pujan. Shops does not open or close early on this day allowing employees to enjoy family time.

As the evening approaches celebrants will wear new clothes or their best outfits teenage girls and women in particular wear sarees and jewellery. Also everyone do the lakshmi pujan all together.

On this day Lakshmi is welcomed to evryone’s cleaned house and bring prosperity and happiness for coming years it also signifies the ritual “reenactment of the cleansing, purifying action of the monsoon rains” that would have concluded in most of the Indian subcontinent. 

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Vaishnava families recite Hindu legends of the victory of good over evil and the return of hope after despair on the Diwali night, where the main characters may include Rama, Krishna, Vamana or one of the avatars of Vishnu, the divine husband of Lakshmi.

 At dusk, lamps placed earlier inside and outside of home are lit up to welcome Lakshmi. Family members light up firecrackers. Which some interpret as a way to ward off all evil spirits and inauspicious, add to festive mood. According to Pintchman, who quotes Raghavan, ritual may also linked to tradition in some communities of paying respect to ancestors.

Earlier in season’s fortnight, some welcome the souls of their ancestors to join family for the festivities with the Mahalaya. Diwali night’s lights and firecrackers, in interpretation, represent a celebratory and symbolic farewell to the departed ancestral soul.

Govardhan puja:

Woman making rangoli for Indian festival
Woman making rangoli for Indian festival in vector

The day after diwali is the first day of the bright fortnight of the luni – solar calendar. It is regionally called as annakut, Padwa, Goverdhan puja, ali Pratipada, Kartik Shukla, Pratipada and other names. According to one tradition , the day is associate with the story of Bali’s Defeat the hands of vishnu.

 In another interpretation, it is thought to reference the legend of Parvati and her husband shiva playing a game of dice on board of twelve squares and 30 pieces, Parvati wins. Shiva surrenders his shirt and adornments to her, rendering him naked.

The day ritually celebrates the bond between the wife and husbands will celebrate this with gifts to their wives. In other region parents invite a newly married daughter, or son, together with their spouses to a festive meal and give gifts.

In north, west and central regions 4th day is celebrate as Govardhan Puja, honouring the legend of the hindu god Krishna saving the cowherd and farming communities from incessant.

Bhai Dooj:

The last day of festival is bhai Dooj (brother’s Day). It is also known as Bhau Beej, Bhai Tilak or Bhai phonta. It represents the bonding between sister – Brother as similar to Raksha Bandhan. In Bhai Dooj Brother travel and meet the sister and her family.

It is interpret by Yamuna welcoming Yama with a Tilaka, similary ome says Krishna arrive to meet his sister Subhadra after defeating Narakasura. Subhadra welcome him with tilaka on his forehead.

Bhai Dooj

The day celebrates the sibling bond between brother and sister. On this day the womenfolk of the family gather, perform a puja with prayers for the well being of their brothers, then return to a ritual of feeding their brothers with their hands and receiving gifts.

According to Pintchman, in some Hindu traditions the women recite tales where sisters protect their brothers from enemies that seek to cause him either bodily or spiritual harm. In historic times, this was a day in autumn when brothers would travel to meet their sisters, or invite their sister’s family to their village to celebrate their sister-brother bond with the bounty of seasonal harvests.

So this were the different festivals of 5 days of Diwali. So it is really a very joyful and delighful festival. In this festival we meet our relatives and friends greet each other show our gratitude towards them. And  eat a delicious food, buy new clothes and enjoy a lot.


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