FESTIVALS #1

THE INDIAN FESTIVAL “DIWALI”

It is here already. I just thought because of being in a total festive mood why not let people know what Diwali is about. We Indians throughout the world celebrate Diwali in a joyous mood, with zeal and enthusiasm and to our fullest with music (loud), dhol, drums, dance, dresses, food (major part), sweets, etc., every celebration is like new year or weddings. One of our many many festivals is DIWALI which is said to be the ‘Festival of Lights.’

Diwali is like a five day celebration.

The first day of this festival begins with ‘Dhan Trayodashi’ or ‘Dhanteras.’ People buy gold, jewellery, etc. which signifies bringing Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess who blesses with money and hygiene) home. According to the legends, during the churning of ocean by the Gods and the demons, Dhanvantari – the physician of the Gods came out of the ocean on the day of Dhanteras, with a pot of amrita that was meant for the welfare of the humankind. This day also marks the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi, which is celebrated by drawing small footprints of the deity, with rice flour and vermilion powder.

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After the Dhanvantari Trayodashi, the second day of Diwali is called ‘Narak Chaturdashi’, which is popular as ‘Chhoti Diwali’ which means pre-Diwali celebration. After the Dhanvantari Trayodashi the second day of Diwali is Narak Chaturdashi. Legends have it that Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasur on this day to make the mankind free from his fear. It is a tradition to massage the body with oil and to bathe on this day. According to an interesting saying it is believed that those who do not bathe on this day go to the Narak (hell). We pray Goddess Lakshmi ( God of wealth and hygiene),  Lord Ganesha and Goddess Kali and also buy jewellery, gold, etc. on this day.

 The third day of Diwali, which is also called ‘Badi Diwali’ is the main day of celebrations of the festival of Diwali. The most famous legend behind the celebrations of Diwali is about the prince of Ayodhya Nagri – Lord Shree Rama. According to the legend, the king of Lanka, Ravana, kidnapped Lord Ram’s wife (Sita) from the forest, where they were staying as per the instructions of King Dashratha, father of Lord Rama. Then Lord Rama attacked Lanka, killed Ravan and released Sita from the custody. He returned to Ayodhya with his wife Sita and younger brother Lakshamana after fourteen years of exile. Therefore, the people of Ayodhyaa decorated their homes as well as Ayodhyaa, by lighting tiny diyas, in order to welcome their beloved prince Shree Rama and Devi Sita. It was the day of ‘Kartik Amavasyaa’ when they also celebrated the victory of Shri Rama over the King of Lanka, Ravana. Lord Rama is considered the symbol of good and the positive things and Ravana represents the evil. Therefore, Diwali is considered the festival, which establishes the victory of good over the evil. On the night of Diwali, people light diyas, which is again an icon of positive energy to conquer darkness, the symbol of negative energy.

                                   stock-vector-indian-god-rama-killing-ravana-vector-illustration-459774466

The fourth day of the festival is devoted to Govardhana Pooja (worship of Lord Govardhan Parvat). ‘Govardhana’ is a small hillock situated at ‘Braj’, near Mathura. The legends in ‘Vishnu Puraan’ have it that the people of Gokul used to worship and offer prayers to Lord Indra for the rains, because they believed that it were He, who was responsible for rainfall for their welfare. However, Lord Krishna told them that it was Mount Govardhana (Govardhana Parvat) and not Lord Indra, who caused rains. Therefore, they should worship the former and not the latter. People did the same, which made Lord Indra so furious that the people of Gokul had to face heavy rainfall because of his anger. Lord Krishna came forward to ensure their security and after performing worship and offering prayers to Mount Govardhana, he lifted it as an umbrella, on the little finger of his right hand, so that everyone could take shelter under it. After this event, Lord Krishna was also known as Giridhari or Govardhandhana. Now, at present we pray to mother nature and thank her for all that she has given, to the hills, trees, mountains, rivers, etc

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The fifth day of the diwali is Bhai Dooj, the time to honour the brother-sister relationship. Legends have it that in the Vedic era, Lord Yamaraj (the God of death) visited his sister Yamuna on this day and blessed her with a boon that if brothers visit their sisters on this day then they will be liberated from all their sins. Since then it is a tradition that brothers visit their sisters on this day and the sisters sweeten their mouths with variety of sweets. In the Bengali culture this day is celebrated as ‘Bhai Fota’. The celebration of the Bhai Dooj marks the end of the five days long festivities of Diwali. Thus, it has become a tradition that on the day of Bhai-Dooj for the brothers to visit their sisters’ home and offer them gifts. Sisters also make various dishes for their brothers and give gifts to them and make a promise to protect each other forever.

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At present, people decorate their home with lights and pray to Gods and Goddesses for a happy, long, healthy and wealthy life. People light their homes with diyas and candles, make rangolis, cook food and make sweets, burst crackers, etc. Elders bless the young ones and shower them with love and in return the young ones offer their respect and love to them. People visit each other and exchange gifts and sweets.

Rangoli

Crackers

I hope I could acknowledge you guys a bit. The festival is lovely and anyone will have a blast for sure (just check it out the pictures on google or youtube,etc. then you’ll get it). Do tell me whether you liked it or not by hitting the like, comment, share and subscribe button. Enjoy everyone.

Thank You. The next post is coming soon….

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6 thoughts on “FESTIVALS #1”

  1. Hi Shalini. I am so impressed by your eloquent expression of the meaning of each of the five days of Diwali. I had heard this name before but had no knowledge of its significance. You just confirmed something that I already believed: We are never too old to learn! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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