DIWALI – FESTIVAL OF INDIA :
Diwali is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. One of the most favourite festivals of most Indians. Diwali is the time to enjoy the delicious sweets, light the bright lamps and have a sparkling celebration.
In South India Diwali is called ” Deepavali ” deriving the name from row (Avali) of lamps (Deepa). Hence Diwali is called the festival of lights as people celebrate by lighting diyas outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness.
Diwali has been celebrated for ages in India by almost all religions like Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists around the world. Jains mark the nirvana, or spiritual awakening of Lord Mahavira on October 15, 527 B.C. as Diwali. Sikhs honor the day when Guru Hargobind Ji, the Sixth Sikh Guru, was freed from imprisonment as Diwali.
DIWALI IN DIFFERENT PLACES OF INDIA:
- In Northern India, people celebrate the story of King Rama’s return to Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana by lighting rows of lamps.
- In Southern India, people celebrate it as the day that Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura.
- In Western India it marks the day when Lord Vishnu, the Preserver (one of the main gods of the Hindu trinity) sent the demon King Bali to rule the world.
DIWALI IN RAMAYANA
The great Hindu Epic Ramayana narrates the story behind Diwali. This is about celebrating Lord Rama ( the seventh avatar/incarnation of the god Vishnu). It is on this day Rama returned to his place after 14 years of exile during which he fought and won a battle against the demons and the demon king, Ravana. This victory is being celebrated by people by lighting diyas in their houses and streets denoting light over darkness.
Another belief if that goddess Lakshmi will visit Earth on this day and enters the house that is pure, clean, and bright. Every household will be blessed with happiness and good fortune.
DIWALI IN MAHABARATHA
Mahabharata says to us how the five royal brothers, the Pandavas, were defeated by their brothers, the Kauravas, in a dice game (gambling). As a consequence, the Pandavas were imposed to serve a term of 13 years in exile. After 13 years Pandavas returned to their birthplace Hastinapura on ‘Kartik Amavasya’ (the new moon day of the Kartik month). To celebrate this joyous occasion and as a means of welcoming them back, common people lighted bright lamps all over.
HOW IS DIWALI CELEBRATED ?
Diwali is definitely one of the most favourite festivals of all Indians across the world. Generally, this is one festival where even Indians living across India used to visit their home place and celebrate it in a grand gala manner.
People whitewash their House and decorate it with flowers and other materials. Colourful Kolam is drawn at the entrance of every house as a sweet gesture of welcoming their dear ones. Every House will be traditionally light their homes with diyas. People spend time with their friends and family and exchange sweets and new clothes.
The Diwali festival in southern India often commemorates the conquering of the Asura Naraka, a powerful king of Assam, who imprisoned thousands of inhabitants. It was Krishna, a deity worshipped in Hinduism, who was finally able to subdue Naraka and free the prisoners. Diwali celebrations may vary in different communities but its significance and spiritual meaning is generally “the awareness of the inner light”. It is also the beginning of the new financial year for the business community.