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5 Days of Diwali Celebrations

Diwali is a joyous celebration of five days and each of these days has a spiritual and religious symbolism attached to it. So, it is not simply five days of fun and frolic and then back to the reality of everyday life when all the religious knowledge is forgotten and ignored.  These days Online Diwali Gifts are high in demand as people moved out to far places but are connected to their roots and want to make any and every such occasion special. The spiritual and religious knowledge that lies behind the customs of each of the occasions of Diwali, when imbibed in our day to day lives can make a world of difference to the quality of our real lives. In this manner, these five days that come each year serve as a valuable reminder of the spiritual and religious knowledge that we might have forgotten by getting lost in worldly affairs. Seen in this light, we enjoy the five days of celebrations of Diwali time even more since we understand the meaning behind each of the customs and don’t just follow them since we see everyone around us doing the same. There is a rich dimension to the celebrations that must be understood and imbibed in our behavior and value systems if we are to enjoy Diwali in the real sense and as is popularly said often when we make these changes in ourselves everyday of our life is a Diwali (‘Har din Diwali’). Let us explore the mythological stories and the customs that we can learn so much from further.

The first day of celebration is ‘Dhanteras’ which is on the 17th of October in 2017. Dhanteras falls on the auspicious thirteenth lunar day of Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik. The word ‘Dhan’ means money or wealth in Hindi. Since Goddess Lakshmi is associated with the festival of Diwali, she is worshipped in her Owl form on this day and blessings of health and wealth are sought from her. It is customary to purchase Gold or metal on this occasion which practically translates into busy marketplaces and traffic jams since everyone visits marketplaces. This is believed to bring fortune into our lives. Lakshmi pujan is conducted in the evenings as well after purchasing the gold or metal item. Lighting up diyas in homes is another custom of the day as that is believed to bring protection to a home from negative energies.

The second day of Diwali is celebrated as ‘Chhoti Diwali’. The occasion is also called ‘Naraka Chaurdashi’ since a devil named ‘Naraka’ was destroyed on this day according to a mythological legend. The day falls on the 14th day of the dark half of Ashwin month as per the Hindu calendar, Panchang. According to legend, the day is also called ‘Kali Chaudas’. The day’s practical significance lies in its message for successful everyday living. Getting rid of the bad habit of laziness and negativity is the message for the occasion which when applied can result in the creation of the light of happiness and success in our lives.

The third day which is commonly also called ‘Badi Diwali’ is an Amavasya. The day is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Lakshmi and it is believed that if Goddess Lakshmi visits our homes on this occasion then she blesses our homes with prosperity and wealth. People clean (and even paint the walls) of their homes in honour of Goddess Lakshmi’s arrival to their homes. Lakshmi pujan is conducted with proper puja samgri in the evening and all the family members eat the Prasad. This is followed by bursting of firecrackers and lighting of rows of diyas outside the homes. This custom is a message to remove evil from our lives and minds and give way to light. Wherever there is light, there is happiness and positivity. That, above all, is the most important message related to Diwali. Shun evil and negativity in every form and bring the joy of light and happiness into your lives.

The day after Diwali is celebrated as ‘Govardhan Puja’. It is believed that Lord Krishna encouraged people to worship Nature (symbolized by the mountain of Govardhan) on this day and to take care of Nature. It is also believed that he asked people to stop worshipping the God of Rains, Lord Indra and asked them to worship mountains instead.

The five days of celebrations conclude with the festival of ‘Bhai Dhuj’ which is celebrated on the fifth day. On this day, the relationship of brothers and sisters is celebrated and sisters apply ‘tikka’ on their brother’s forehead while wishing for his long life and prosperity. The occasion falls on the second day of Shukla Paksh in the month of Kartik in the Hindu calendar.

Enjoy five days of celebrations and imbibe the lessons from the festivals to enjoy your life to the fullest everyday! Add to the joy by sending Diwali Gifts to India.

Diwali is an extravagant festival, where revelries continue through five days. Although it seems like a week of unadulterated festivity, there is a deep significance behind each custom, and no Diwali celebration is without reason. What is most interesting to note is that while each of the five days of Diwali seems to have its own importance and meaning, they are all delicately linked together to make a compete celebration.

The first day of Diwali Celebrations begin with Dhan Teras. This festival is an ode to wealth. All forms of wealth – money, metals and gold assume the status of deities and are a presage of divinity. Apart from these, offices, machines and vehicles are also paid salutations as means of generating wealth. People complete Dhan Teras puja at home and also puja in the office. An auspicious time is selected and Lord Kuber, the custodian of all wealth is worshipped so that he may protect and grow the wealth that has been earned.

Day two gets underway with offerings made to Lord Krishna who delivered the people from the evil of the demon Narakasur. This is also fondly known as ‘Choti Diwali’. A common practice among people is to have an elaborate oil bath, a ritual symbolic of cleansing oneself of all evil and impurity. This is a day for rest and indulgence as preparations for the main Diwali celebrations are made. On the Naraka Chaturdashi, the real celebrations with crackers and sweets begins, and the whole family gears up for the busy day ahead.
 

The main day of Diwali follows. On this day, celebrations begin in the morning with new clothes, sweets and delicacies doing the rounds of the house and neighbourhood. Although planning and preparations have begun many weeks before Diwali, nothing can match the flurry and activity of the day when it arrives. The meticulously cleaned house assumes grand form with grand garlands and torans placed along the doorways, the fresh aroma of the flowers wafting through the house. Rangolis decorate all corners of the house and the bright colours bring a cheer of happiness. All of these auspicious elements are meant to appease Laxmi and welcome her to the home. An elaborate puja of Goddess Laxmi is performed in the evening, followed by rounds of deafening, colourful fireworks lit to illumine the dark sky. Diwali Gifts are exchanged among friends and relatives. It is a common practice for people living overseas to plan for Diwali well in advance. Many weeks before Diwali is celebrated, people send lavish Diwali Gifts to India and partake festivities here. Diwali is a festival where people of all faiths come together. They would either meet at each other’s homes and exchange wishes, or come together in celebrations at open places to enjoy the colourful magic of the crackers.

 

Govardhan Puja is performed on the day after Diwali. On this day, the miracle of little Lord Krishna lifting the lofty Govardhan mountain to offer sanctuary is relived. Mounds of food and sweets are made and offered to the incarnate of Lord Vishnu. The deity is bathed in milk and decorated in finery before the offerings are placed before Him and then distributed as Prasad. The temples are especially crowded on this day, as people flock to them for blessings and sweets. This is a very special day for children, who have plenty to learn from history and legends.

The final day is known as Bhai Duj. The unspoken bond between brother and sister is given new lease. Brothers travel long distances for a chance to spend a few cherished moments in the company of their sister. They take with them sweets and gifts and renew their promise of protection and assurance. The sisters give their unconditional love, and ensure the brother is taken care of and fed well before he leaves for home. The festival of Bhai Duj is one which is keenly awaited, especially by the sister who has several miles that come between her and the brother.

Diwali is celebrated by everyone regardless of caste and social status. The beauty of the festival lies in its ability to be all encompassing, and the delight that is shared by everyone equally. Though people in different parts of India celebrate Diwali in different ways and styles, the essence of Diwali never really changes. More important than knowing How to Celebrate Diwali is understanding and imbibing its spirit.

 

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