Exploring India not only lies in the enchanting beauty of the places of Indian landmark but also the food, dynamic culture and, the festivals that it possesses. Every festival that Indians celebrate displays prosperity and uniqueness. The 12 months of the year follows different festival celebrated by people of different religions. One such festival is the festival of lights known as Deepawali or Diwali is celebrated by Indian communities every year with full pomp and show.

Significance of the name Deepawali

Deepawali is a five days festival and it is celebrated to eliminate darkness. It brings hope and light to the hearts of the Indian folks. The festival symbolizes that despair, ignorance, jealousy can be killed if you welcome the light of positivity, honesty, and kindness. The Sanskrit word Deepawali originates from two words that are deep which are called light and wali which means row. Thus, Deepawali stands for the row of light which is seen in homes during this time.

When is Deepawali celebrated?

According to the Hindu calendar, Deepawali is generally celebrated on Kartik Amavasya or a new moon day and heralds the dawn of a New Year. This auspicious festival generally takes place in the month of October and November. It generally takes place in the autumn season when the weather is mild and pleasant and the winter is about to approach. This day is a gazetted holiday so most of the government offices, schools, and institutions remain closed.

The ways Indians celebrate Diwali

Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs not only in India but also across the world celebrated Diwali. As this is a festival of light people starts with illuminating their house with colorful bulbs. People generally exchange beautiful gifts and festive meals. Market places are flooded with people buying fireworks and crackers. The pre-festival preparation follows with buying new clothes for family and relatives, paying off old debts, and cleaning the houses. The houses are generally whitewashed and painted newly.

Many people generally decorate the houses with floral designs drawn in rice flours and fill those with colors. The oil-burning lamps or the Diya’s are placed on the rooftops, doorsteps,and balconies of the houses. The days of Deepawali are holidays and people try to spend time with their family and friends. The earthen clay lamps and candles make the environment filled up with sanity and purity. Many of them design exclusive rangoli designs with colored powder. Neighbors generally gift sweets, dry fruits and offer chocolates to kids.

The air is filled with the essence of aromatic diyas of sandalwood and also the ghee, the smell of the crackers, and the mouth-watering dishes from mom’s kitchen. The kids and the youth love bursting crackers, the aged couples are only happy with decorating their house with candles and diyas. Guests arrive in the house and there is a wholeheartedness all around.

Many of the Indians also worship Lord Ganesh and goddess Lakshmi in Deepawali for a new ethical starting and to get showered with blessings, wealth, and prosperity all year round. The business community starts a new financial year at this festival. Children wear Flower wreaths on their heads and anklets of bells. Some of the children make mud castles. People in different areas also float lighted lamps in rivers. Melas (fair) is held throughout India in several towns and villages.

The story behind Deepawali

Deepawali is celebrated in order to honor Ram Chandra, who was the main protagonist of the Ramayana. This festival was celebrated in North India on the day when Shri Ram Chandra who was the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu returned to Ayodha after 14 years in exile. People welcomed him by lighting ghee diyas. Diwali is also known as “Prakashotsav” as the light of knowledge defeats the darkness of ignorance. The demon king, Ravana was defeated in the battle with Ramachandran. So people celebrate this day to celebrate the victory over evil. Also, it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi also showers her blessing to the members of that house which is very clean and bright and beautifully decorated.

In southern India, People celebrate Diwali because they believe that Lord Krishna conquered Asur Naraka on this day who was a powerful evil king of Assam who imprisoned thousands of people. Krishna who was worshipped by Hindus finally freed the people and subdued the Asur. Both lord Rama and Lord Krishna uplifted the inner light of righteousness.

In what other forms Diwali is celebrated in other states?

In Sikhism, Diwali is celebrated in another form too. The state of Punjab observes a festival called “Bandi Chhor” diwas. Sikhs light the golden temple in Amritsar and involve themselves in fireworks. For the Sikhs, the Deepawali festival holds the utmost importance for a particular reason. It marks the release of the sixth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Hargobind Singh, from the prison of The Mughals. It is one of the most important events in Sikh history that is observed in Diwali.

In Karnataka, south India, and is also some areas, Deepawali is a five-day festival. The first day is Dhanteras where people welcome Goddess Lakshmi to the house. It is an auspicious day to buy expensive goods like gold. The second day is “Naraka Chaturdashi” which is the main day of Diwali. The third day basically is “Diwali” which is celebrated all over India to commemorate Lord Rama’s return to Ayodha. The fourth day is known as “Pratipada” and is marked by the Govardhan Puja or Annakut (Mountain of Food). This day is celebrated to feed the people who are in need of food and it is basically a “giveaway” occasion. The last day and the fifth day marks the celebration of the relationship between brother and sister.

Deepawali is very popular in other Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore too. This traditional festival may vary in different regions and according to calendar interpretations. Therefore Deepawali is a very important festival in all sense. People irrespective of their religion come together united to celebrate Diwali in their own way.

Leave a Comment