The festival of lights is a much loved festival celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains throughout the world. Light symbolizes hope. This festival is celebrated on Amavasya or ‘no moon’ day and heralds the dawn of a New Year according to the Hindu calendar. It is generally a five-day celebration wherein families get together; friends indulge in merry-making, light lamps and diyas as well as gorge on sweet delicacies.
Why Do Hindus Light Lamps During Diwali?
Deepavali literally means 'row of lamps'. ... On Diwali, each house is lit up with oil lamps, candles and colourful electric lights.
The idea behind the Festival of Lights comes from various versions of an ancient Hindu story. In northern India, the tale tells about the holy Lord Rama's return from a twelve-year exile and the celebration by the people for their beloved hero. The pious and rejoicing people decorated their city with candles and lights to welcome him back. In southern India, the story talks of the Goddess Durga's triumph over the evil demon Narakasura. This triumph of good over evil brought back the light of knowledge and truth to mankind.
Diwali is celebrated on the new moon day when it is absolute darkness everywhere; people light millions of lamps to get rid of the darkness. The lights of Deepavali outside every door signify that the inner spiritual light of an individual must reflect outside too.
Five Days celebrations
The first day of Diwali: Dhanteras
The first day of Diwali is Dhanvantari Trayodasi also called Dhan Theras, when Lord Dhanvantari appeared, delivering Ayurveda medicine for mankind. This day marks the beginning of deepawali celebrations.
On Dhanteras, Lakshmi - the Goddess of wealth - is worshiped to provide prosperity and wellbeing. It is also the day for celebrating wealth, as the word 'Dhan' literally means wealth.
The second day of Diwali: Choti Diwali or Naraka Chaturdasi
The second day of Diwali is Naraka Chaturdasi. On this day Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura and made the world free from fear.On this day, people keep their houses clean and use fragrant oils and flowers to keep vibrations uplifted.
Third Day: Lakshmi Puja on Diwali
This is the actual day of Diwali, commonly known as the Hindu New Year.on this day Hindus cleanse themselves and join with their families and their Pandit (priest) and they worship the divine Goddess Lakshmi to achieve the blessings of wealth and prosperity,
The fourth day of Diwali: Padwa & Govardhan Puja
The day after Diwali is called Annakuta, or Govardhana Puja. On this day the inhabitants of Vrindavan (Lord Krishna’s abode on Earth) used to hold a festival to honor King Indra. The legend goes that Lord Indra was provoked and tried to submerge the town of Gokul. Lord Krishna saved the people of Gokul from the wrath of Lord Indra by lifting the Govardhan Mountain to provide succor.
Fifth Day: Bhai Dooj
The fifth day of the Diwali is called Bhratri Dooj, dedicated to sisters.The festival is associated with the legendary tale of brotherly love between Lord Yama and his sister Yami.After several decades of separation, Lord Yama decided to visit his sister.Yami welcomed her brother with full fanfare and respect and put a tilak on his forehead to mark the occasion. Yamraj blessed her and announced that henceforth a brother who will greet his sister on this day will have a long life.
This day marks the end of the five days of deepavali celebrations.