Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the most important Indian festival celebrated with family members. Decorating the house with oil lamps, bursting crackers, tasty food items and auspicious pooja at home and temples makes its the most entertaining Indian festival.
Even though most of the educational institutions and employers announce a day or two public holidays across India for celebrating the festival, traditionally Diwali is celebrated as a 5 day long festival. Wondering what is the significance of those 5 days? Here is the story behind the 5 days celebrations
The festival starts with Dhanteras on which most Indian business communities begin their financial year. The second day of the festival, Naraka Chaturdasi, marks the vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama. Amavasya, the third day of Deepawali, marks the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth in her most benevolent mood, fulfilling the wishes of her devotees. Amavasya also tells the story of Lord Vishnu, who in his dwarf incarnation vanquished the Bali, and banished him to Patala. It is on the fourth day of Deepawali, Kartika Shudda Padyami, that Bali went to patala and took the reins of his new kingdom in there. The fifth day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya (also called Bhai Dooj), and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes.
Video On Diwali By National Geographic Channel
NGC has posted a good video on how India celebrates Diwali.
While the story behind Deepavali and the manner of celebration varies from region to region, the essence is the same – to rejoice in the Inner Light.
Wish you a happy and safe Diwali.
image credit: flickr/araswami