Sunday, October 15, 2017

Diwali: A festival of lights and happiness!


Hello Everyone,

Hope you all are doing great.

The festival of lights and happiness is just around the corner and the celebrations have already started, so how can someone like me (an Indian who personally loves this festival) skip writing about this auspicious festival called Diwali.


Diwali also known as Dipawali is believed to be the most awaited, most celebrated and one of the biggest festivals of India.  This festival is enjoyed by people of every religion throughout India, and the celebrations are similar to those associated with Christmas in other countries.  This festival is no longer limited to India only, but is now spread extensively.  It is celebrated with great enthusiasm by most of the Indians all over the world regardless of faith.

There are various stories associated with this festival, but when it comes to India’s major religious community, the Hindus, this festival commemorates Lord Rama's [Rama is the seventh avatar among the Dashavataras (ten incarnation) of Lord Vishnu according to ancient Indian Mythology] return to his kingdom Ayodhya after completing his 14-year exile.  The people of Ayodhya lighted diyas (earthenware oil lamps) to celebrate his return to the kingdom.  Since then, the festival of Deepawali has been celebrated.  The word “Deepawali” refers to rows of diyas, or clay lamps.  It is also known as deepotsav which means festival of lights.

The tradition of lighting oil lamps symbolizes the victory of good over evil.  On this auspicious occasion people clean up and paint their houses, offices, shops.  They decorate their houses and workplaces with garlands, small clay oil lamps, fairy lights, patterned lanterns to chase the darkness away.  People also decorate their houses with colorful rangoli (it’s an Indian traditional art in which patterns are created using flower petals, chalk designs, colored sand or powders).  People burst crackers to express happiness, but many have now stopped doing so as it pollutes the environment.


People celebrate the festival by getting together with their family and friends.  The festival is celebrated by distributing mithai (Indian sweets) and sharing greetings, best wishes and gifts for Diwali.  And it is also the time when people set themselves for welcoming the New Year.

Diwali is a festival of five-days celebrated by millions of people across the world on the auspicious month of Kartika (Vikram Samvat) and Ashvin&Kartika (Shaka Samvat) that falls sometimes on October or November, the date varies as it is based on the “ancient Indian calendar/Hindu calendar.”

First day of Diwali:  Dhanteras/Dhantrayodashi.
Dhanteras/Dhantrayodashi marks the beginning of Diwali.  Dhan means wealth and teras/trayodashi is the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Kartika (Vikram Samvat).  It is believed that purchasing new metal on Dhanteras brings good luck and prosperity.  So on this day, people purchase gold or silver coin/jewelry, appliances, utensils, or other things.

Second day of Diwali:  Naraka Chaturdashi/Chhoti Diwali:
A day before Diwali is celebrated as Chhoti Diwali (small diwali).  It is believed that on this day Goddess Kali destroyed the demon Narakasur and made the world fear-free which is why this day also referred as Naraka-Chaturdashi.  This day usually involves preparations for main Diwali which includes decorating house.

Third day of Diwali:  Lakshmi puja. (Main Diwali).
Third day of Diwali is the main day of festival.  It is the new moon day of the month of Kartika (Vikram Samvat).  As per the Hindu mythology, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and Lord Vishnu's wife, symbolizes wealth, fortune, power, luxury, and auspiciousness.  It is believed that she visits her devotees and shower blessings upon each of them.  People worship the divine Goddess Lakshmi on the eve of Diwali where traditional rituals are performed to invite Goddess Lakshmi at home.  People also make preparations to welcome Goddess Lakshmi by drawing Paduka (footsteps) and colorful rangolis on the entrance of their houses.  On this day, people visit each other houses, shoot off fireworks, and spend time with their nearest and dearest ones.  Diwali falls on new moon (dark night) and because of the lighting diyas, candles and lamps, it looks bright and dazzling everywhere.


Fourth day of Diwali:  Govardhan Puja.
Govardhan Puja is performed a day after the main Diwali.  Many centuries ago, Lord Krishna caused the people to perform Govardhan Puja.  Since then, on this day every year Hindus worship Govardhan and people also worship a cow.

Fifth day of Diwali:  Bhai Dooj.
In Indian traditions, family bonds occupy an important role.  And amongst them, the special and unique relationship between sisters and brothers have been cherished and celebrated from centuries.  As per Hindu mythology, it is believed that on this day, divine Yama visited his sister's house after a long period of time.  She was overwhelmed to see her brother.  On that occasion, she put a tilak on her brother's forehead and celebrated the day.  Hence this day is also known as Yama Dwitiya.  So yeah, it is the festival dedicated to brothers and sisters.  Sisters apply tilak on their brother's forehead.  Siblings share gifts, meals and pray for each other’s well-being.  This festival symbolizes the bond of deep love between brother and sister.  It is similar to rakshabandhan.

Rangoli (with flower petals), made by my sisters and brother.

So, in such way Diwali is celebrated.  It is five days long celebrations with each day having its own importance in various rituals and traditions.

As the following week is going to be a Diwali week, let's show some love and care and wish everyone out there.  Do remember, animals cannot handle the noise of fireworks, so if you choose to shoot off fireworks, take care of them.

Wish you all a very happy, safe, and prosperous Diwali.

Stay Blessed, Be Happy..!! :-)
Preeti

46 comments:

  1. Very Nicely Written!!! Happy Diwali to you and your family!!!

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    1. Thank you. :-) Happy Diwali to you and your family too.

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  2. The festival of lights and happiness - Diwali - looks very interesting! Thank you for sharing :)

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    1. Yeah, it is! Thank you for stopping by. :-)

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  3. very well written.. wishing you a great Diwali and lots of success for your blog.. keep writing..

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    1. Thank you so much. :-) Happy Diwali you too.

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  4. AS you are starting in the blogging field, it is a nice post which is relevant to the ongoing festive season. Happy Diwali

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    1. Happy Diwali you too. Thank you for dropping by.

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  5. Very informative and well written post. Wish you a very happy Diwali!

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    1. Thank you for the comment. Wish you too a very Happy Diwali!

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  6. very informative, I didn't know Diwali was a festival of five days. looking forward to celebrating it this year! :)

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    1. I am glad this post has helped. Sure, do celebrate it. :-)
      Wish you Happy Diwali.
      Thank you for dropping by.

      Preeti

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  7. Wow great article and very informative. Happy Diwali.
    Check out my blog as well; www.voodly.in

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    1. Thank you, Shweta. I am glad you stopped by.
      Happy Diwali you too.

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  8. Wonderful article! I'm so looking forward to going to the Diwali festival in Leicester on Thursday. I admittedly had no idea that the actual celebrations lasted 5 days though!

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    1. Hey Claire,
      Sounds great that you are going to attend the Diwali festival. I am pleased this post has helped. I really appreciate the comment.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Preeti

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  9. Oh i miss the days when we were kids and used up so many firecrackers. Happy Diwali to you and your family
    Social Problems

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    1. Oh yes! I miss those days too. I have lots of memories of Diwali as a kid, which I still cherish. Happy Diwali to you and your family too.
      Thank you for stopping by!

      Preeti

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  10. pretty article about Diwali Festival

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    1. Happy Diwali you too, Wanban.
      Thanks for the comment!

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  12. Just the article I was searching for. Nicely written. Happy Diwali to you,

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    1. I am glad this article turned out to be something that you were looking for. Happy Diwali you too!
      Thank you for dropping by.

      Preeti

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  13. Happy Diwali! This article is very informative. I worked with Indians before in a call center but I had no idea about this celebration.


    -Analie

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    1. Hey Analie,
      I am pleased this post has helped. Happy Diwali you too.
      Thank you for the comment.

      Preeti

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  14. I love all the rich cultural information you have here. I was just reading about Diwali yesterday.

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    1. Hey S. Graham,
      I am thrilled you love this. Thank you for dropping by!

      Preeti

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  15. It's nice to see someone explain Diwali so clearly. Even though I've lived in India all my life, some of the information was new to me.

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    1. Hello,
      I am happy you found this article useful. Thank you for reading this.

      Preeti

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  16. I learned today something new, I did not know that Diwali is the festival of lights.

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    1. Hello Dieter,
      I am glad this post has helped you to learn something new. Thank you for the comment.

      Preeti

      Delete
  17. I really found this useful. My neighbors celebrate Diwali and I was too embarrassed to ask them what it was all about. Thanks!

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    1. Hey Scott,
      I am pleased you found this useful. Now, you don’t have to ask about this anymore to anyone now. Thank you for your honest comment.

      Preeti

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  18. Would love to experience Diwali Festival someday when I come to India.

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    1. Hey Jake,
      Sure, do attend this festival once in your lifetime. Thanks for stopping by!

      Preeti

      Delete
  19. The other day someone commented on my blog about Diwali and I had no idea what that meant, but now that I have read this I have a better understanding! Happy Diwali to you and your family

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    1. In that case, I thrilled you found some value here with this post and now you know what Diwali is! Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      Preeti

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  20. I love learning about cultures and celebrations. It sounds like Diwali is such a wonderful celebration with family and friends.

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    1. Hey Melanie,
      Yeah! It is indeed! Thank you for reading the article.

      Preeti

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  21. A festival of lights sounds like a fun place and probably a great experience! We have some kind of light exhibit during christmas and its very traditional and we learn so much by going! I would love to check this out someday!

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    1. Hello Katriza,
      Yeah actually. do attend this festival once in your lifetime. I bet you will love this. I really appreciate the comment.

      Preeti

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  22. Been hearing about this. It looks nice and good celebration. Hope I can witness one too, soon!

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    1. Hey Ron,
      I am sending you positive vibes and I truly hope you witness this soon. Thank you for dropping by!

      Preeti

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  23. Great post! This was a really interesting read! I love hearing about other cultures and their festivals. I've never heard of the festival of the lights, but after reading your post it sounds like a great holiday to celebrate! I'm low-key jealous you have a five-day celebration though lol. The US needs to come up with something like that haha.

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  24. Hey Preeti, You are a nominee for the Bloggers award. I really loved your stories especially on the festivals like Diwali. I know so much about now that I did not know before. Looking forward to your next post. I will be announcing the winner on Friday. Good luck

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