Monday, November 12, 2012

"May every aspect of your life become as luminous and exciting as the lights flickering on the lamps in the festival of lights."

Article on Diwali, story

Diwali or Deepavali popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a five day festival which starts on Dhanteras and ends on Bhai Dooj. Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated.
The name "Diwali" is a contraction of "Deepavali", which translates into "row of lamps". Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. These lamps are kept on during the night and one's house is cleaned, both done in order to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome. Firecrackers are burst in order to drive away evil spirits. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends.

Day 1: The festival starts with Dhanteras on which most Indian business communities begin their financial year.

Day 2: On this day, Naraka Chaturdasi, marks the vanquishing of the demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama.

Day 3: Amavasya, 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.

Day 4: It is on the fourth day of Diwali, Kartika Shudda Padyami, that Bali went to patala and took the reins of his new kingdom in there.

Day 5: This day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya (also called Bhai Dooj), where sisters invite their brothers to their homes.

While the story behind Diwali and the manner of celebration varies from region to region, the essence is the same – to rejoice the triumph of good over evil.