Diwali ( Festival Of Light)
Deepawali is an important festival in Vedic tradition and is a New Moon Day. Deepawali or Diwali is certainly the biggest and the brightest of all Vedic festivals. It originated in ancient times and is also popularly known as the “festival of lights” in the west. It is an ancient Vedic festival that is celebrated in autumn every year. The word ‘Deepavali’ in Sanskrit means – “Deepa” light and “avail” a row. So Deepavali is a row or line of lights and as it is said that the unique feature of this festival is that all the homes, businesses, temples and other places are all decorated with many lights lit inside and outside of them and are placed all around. The spiritual significance of this festival is to show the victory of light over darkness which in many ways also signifies victory of knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. The festival night of Deepawali also happens to be the darkest, new moon night of the Vedic Calendar in the month of Sacred Month of Aswayuja. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls somewhere between mid-October and mid-November.
Preparation & Celebration:
The festivities start a couple of days before with Dhanteras (Dhanteras usually falls eighteen days after Dussehra), followed by Naraka Chaturdashi (Naraka Chaturdashi marks the vanquishing of the demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama Devi) on the second day. On the third day is Deepavali, which is the main Festival Day.
Preparation of this Festival begins way before its onset with the cleaning of homes. All the homes or office buildings are decorated with many colorful flower garlands, and lights. Since this festival also signifies success & property, people also buy special items, property, gold, and new clothes on this day. This is one of the major shopping times and a good boost for all businesses.
Lots of varieties of delicious dishes are cooked and lots of sweets are also prepared for this occasion. On Diwali festival night, all the family members dress up in new clothes, light up lots of lamps called ‘diyas’ and use them for decoration inside and outside their respective homes. They begin the festivities with a Special Prayer or Pooja to the Goddess Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi (the Goddess of wealth and prosperity). Then, everything is first offered to the Goddess, and after seeking her blessings, everyone moves on for the main fun in the festival. Fireworks & crackers are the main entertainment part which all children and elders enjoy equally. This is then followed by a grand feast of all the grand dishes and special sweets, and an exchange of gifts between family members, close friends, and relatives takes place. This festival illuminates the country with its brilliance and brings a lot of joy & happiness to all.
Origin of Deepavali:
Historically, the origin of Diwali can be traced back to ancient India. Deepavali has been associated with the celebration for many reasons, each connected to each region of India. Some believe this day to be the auspicious day of the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu. Whereas in eastern part of India, the festival is dedicated to the worship of Mother Kali , the dark goddess of strength. In Jainism, Deepawali has an added significance to the great event of Lord Mahavira attaining the eternal bliss of nirvana. Diwali also commemorates the return of Lord Rama along with Sita Devi and Brother Lakshmana from their fourteen years of exile after vanquishing the demon-king Ravana. In celebration of the return of their beloved King Lord Sri Rama, the people of Ayodhya, (the then Capital of Lord Rama’s Kingdom), illuminated the whole kingdom with earthen diyas (oil lamps) and burst crackers. In the Southern part of India, Deepavali is celebrated in the joy of victory of Lord Krishna and Satyabhama’s battle with the demon Narakasura. Thus, Deepavali is a joyous, fun-filled, and grand festival that is celebrated by one and all with equal fervor and enthusiasm. Diwali is celebrated as an official major holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji.
Wish you all a very Happy & Prosperous Deepavali. May this Festival brings you all Joy