Spring is here and it’s not only the flowers and fruits that are blooming. Happiness and excitement are also blooming within us, too. The most-awaited festival of the year is definitely Deepavali, also known as Diwali across the nation of India. Lights, colours, sweet delicacies, gathering, fireworks, gifts, new clothes and new spirit define the festival for us. But like most other days, this festival has some historical and mythological reasons for it. Let’s find out, shall we?
For starters, Deepavali is a festival that is celebrated over a period of five days. Starting with Dhanteras, Naraka Chaturdashi, Deepavali, Balipadyami and Bhai Dooj. We have all been hearing that Deepavali is celebrated to commemorate the day when Lord Ram returned to the kingdom of Ayodhya after staying in exile for 14 years with his wife, Seeta and his brother, Lakshman. He returned after defeating the evil king, Ravan in Lanka. And hence, this day is a symbol of victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness.
Another legend symbolises this festival with the victory of Lord Krishna in freeing prisoners from the evil Asura Naraka, the King of Assam. Some folks believe this day to be the birthday of Goddess Lakshmi while other folks believe it to be the day of her marriage. Goddess Lakshmi is the symbol of wealth, peace and prosperity. And so, people pray to her in hopes that she will come and grace their lives with wealth, peace and prosperity.
Let’s dig a little deeper on the importance and reasons behind the 5-day celebration of Deepavali. To clear our basics, let’s start from the easy one. The 5-day festival starts on Amavasya, the darkest night makes way for the grand celebration of lights.
Day 1: Dhanteras
Let’s talk monies! Through history, Dhanteras was celebrated as the beginning of a new financial year, in the Hindu calendar. People pray and worship Goddess Lakshmi on this day. Buying expensive goods like gold and donating or charity are considered to be auspicious.
Day 2: Naraka Chaturdashi
In the southern part of India, this is considered to be the main festival. As Lord Krishna killed the evil Asura Naraka, people get rid of any evil spirits by cleaning their houses and lighting up firecrackers.
Day 3: Deepavali
In the Treta Yug, people of Ayodhya lit earthen lamps across the place to welcome Lord Ram’s return to Ayodhya after winning over Ravana. To continue this tradition, people light up their houses with small lights or diyas and welcome goodness or evil.
Day 4: Balipadyami
The new year begins on this day with the month of Pratipada, in the Hindu Vikram Samvat Calendar. The legend is, Lord Krishna won over Bali and God Indra by lifted the Govardhan Hill to provide shelter to local villagers from torrential rains. As a gesture of thanksgiving, people continue to provide Annakut to the lord. Annakut denotes a huge mountain for food that is prepared and taken to Lord Krishna’s temples.
Day 5: Bhratu Dwitiya
Legends have it that the god of death, Lord Yamaraj visited his sister Yamuna on this day and gave her a special power. He blessed her with the blessing that whoever visited her on this day would be freed from their sins and will attain Moksha. That is why, on this day, brothers visit their sisters and seek blessing from them.
What new do you do for Deepavali? Let us know below. Check out amazing movies to watch this festive season with your family on ZEE5.