Diwali is known as the festival of lights. The Festival of Lights marks new beginnings and the victory of good over evil, and light over darkness. Also popular as Deepavali or Diwali the ‘Festival of Lights’ harvest and New Year celebrations simultaneously. The word Diwali is a term that comes from the Sanskrit word Deepavali, which means a row of lights. It is one of the greatest festivals in India. It is celebrated with great warmth, and joy. The festival drops on the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu lunar month, which occurs between mid-October to mid-November.
Significance of Diwali
The festival of Diwali symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over unawareness, good over evil, and right over wrong. With all the lights and diya suppressing dark shadows and evil, and all the prayers and love among people make a wonderful atmosphere full of goodness and purity. The festival of Diwali fills everyone’s hearts with an aura of purity and a happy, caring mood. Diwali is a celebration to give and forgive. That day people forget and forgive the injustices and grudges. People celebrate Diwali with an air of freedom, happiness, festivity, and friendliness everywhere. Diwali is a celebration in which people unite with each other from every corner, religion, and caste. A simple smile, makes the heart melt even the hardest of hearts. It is a time when people mingle in joy and welcome one another. It is an occasion of high spiritual value as it marks the opening of our own true light which sparkles within us and sharing this glitter with others as well. Diwali is not only celebrated by Hindus, but also celebrated among Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs. And for Hindus, it signifies the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya, after his 14 years of journey, exile, and victory over Ravana.
Ram, on that special day, was welcomed to the kingdom of Ayodhya with rows of diyas, and the whole of Ayodhya lightened throughout the kingdom. Thus, the folklore of lighting oil lamps on Diwali indicates the triumph of good over evil and freedom from spiritual darkness.
Preparation and Celebration
Diwali is celebrated with enormous faith and enthusiasm as a time to refresh and renew all energies. On this occasion, people start preparing days in advance by cleaning, renovating, and decorating their homes and workplaces with flowers, and colorful lights to invite light energies of wealth, prosperity, and well-being into their lives. They also perform prayer ceremonies and decorate their home by lighting divas and candles. The celebrations for Deepavali extend over a period of four to five days. This festival starts with Dhanteras, followed by Naraka Chaturdasi or a small Diwali called ‘choti diwali’ and then Diwali on the third day. Thereafter is Govardhan Puja on the fourth day and Bhai-Dhuj on the fifth day. Each day of this festival has its unique importance.
- Dhanteras is the first day of Diwali. The word Dhanteras means wealth and prosperity. This day holds special importance as people choose this day to invest in gold or jewelry. New clothes and utensils are also bought on this occasion. This day also pays homage to Lord Dhanwantri who is connected with Ayurveda, a part of natural therapy and various healing practices.
- Narak Chaturdashi or Small Diwali is the second day of the Diwali celebration. This day signifies the victory of Goddess Kali and Lord Krishna over the evils and demons to free the world from fear. The festival is all about removing the bad powers and protecting others.
- Diwali or Deepavali is the main day of the Festival of Lights which symbolizes the triumph of goodness over evil and light over darkness. On this day Mother Lakshmi is worshipped by everyone to achieve the blessings of wealth and prosperity.
- Govardhan Puja drops on the fourth day. On this day, also celebrated as Vishwakarma Day, people worship their instruments and machinery.
- Bhai-Dhuj is the fifth day of Diwali, a day that is completely dedicated to family bonding.
Diwali is a festival enjoyed by everyone. Amid all the festivities, we always forget that bursting crackers lead to noise and air pollution. It can be very harmful and dangerous for kids and can even cause fatal burns. Bursting crackers reduces air quality and visibility in many places, it is also responsible for accident, that are often reported after the festival. Thus, it is necessary to have a safe and eco-friendly Diwali. Let us all join hands and take an oath to celebrate this festival with responsibility and care so that everyone, including Mother Earth, is secure and free from pollution.