Festivals bring all the people together. Everyone celebrates the festivals being unity.
The various festivals give us happiness, joy, closer to our family and remind us about our cultures, traditions and responsibilities. It is necessary for us to know about these cultures and traditions as they teach us about various things.
Diwali the festival of light is a celebration for five days. While for some it is not five days. Their Diwali celebration is according to their traditions and cultures.
The five days of celebration of Diwali includes Dhanteras on the first day, then Choti Diwali, Diwali, Bali Pratipada or Govardhan Puja and Bhai Dooj respectively.
What is Bali Pratipada?
This festival is also called as Bali Puja. The festival of Bali Pratipada is celebrated to signify Lord Vishnu’s win over the demon king, Bali.
Lord Vishnu defeated Bali in his dwarf form and sent him to underworld. But Bali’s grandfather requested him to forgive Bali.
After this Bali became the king of the underworld. Thus, people worship Bali on this day because of the blessings given by Lord Vishnu when Bali comes to the earth for one day.
This festival is called Bestu Varas in Gujarat that stars the New Vikram Samvat Year.
The same day people celebrate Goverdhan Puja by remembering Lord Krishna and Padva by the people of Gujarat and Rajasthan. This year Bali Pratipada will be celebrated on 20th of October.
History of Bali Pratipada
Bali was a kind king. He gave the people whatever they asked him. One day Lord Vishnu went to Bali by dressing up as a dwarf priest.
He requested Bali to give him some space that he could cover with three steps. Bali could do this as he was the king of the earth, underworld and world beyond the skies.
Everyone in the court laughed at Lord Vishnu’s request. Bali agreed to Lord Vishnu’s request thinking that a dwarf will not be able to cover a lot of space.
They did not the dwarf was none other than Lord Vishnu. After Bali agreed, Lord Vishnu engulfed the Mrityuloka,that is, the whole world with his first step.
His second step was on the heaven, the Swargaloka. After the two steps Lord Vishnu did not have any place where could step.
So, he asked Bali to give him some important place for his third step and get the request completed. Bali did not have any choice and ended up giving his head to Lord Vishnu for the third step.
As soon as Lord Vishnu’s third was completed, Bali was immediately sent to the underworld. But Lord Vishnu allowed him to come to earth for one day to give people happiness, love, joy, wisdom etc.
The festival of Bali Pratipada is celebrated when Bali comes to earth and is welcomed by people with lamps and crackers.
Celebration of Bali Pratipada
The celebration of this festival starts with people getting up early in the morning. They take an oil bath according to the rituals and new clothes are worn.
The entrance hall or the main hall is beautifully decorated with rangoli of different colours. Then all of them eat delicious food together.
People worship King Bali and his queen on this day. The rangoli which is made in the hall includes their picture.
They offer King Bali and his queen with gifts, meat and liquor to please and make him happy. The devotees even donate some necessary items, food and clothes.
Along with King Bali people worship even Lord Vishnu through various kinds of offering so that they get his blessings. The people invite Brahmins on this day and serve them meals.
People do not consume liquor on Bali Pratipada as it is strictly prohibited. In the evening, people light the lamps in rows in every corner of the house.
The devotees welcome Bali on this day by bursting crackers. Some of the families prefer to play gambling on the festival of Bali Pratipada.
This is regarded as a custom. Years before on this day, Lord Shiva and Parvati played this game. Parvati won the game. Then she played the dice game with Kumaraswami and lost to him. Later, he was defeated by Lord Ganesh.
On this day people perform Govardhan Puja. Lord Krishna protected the Gokul people from the rage of Indra by lifting the mountain of Govardhan. On this day a heap of grain is worshipped that signified the mountain.
This puja is performed to celebrate Lord Krishna’s win over Indra. Devotees beautifully decorate their cows on this day. It is an important day for the farmers as they worship their cows today.
First, they clean the cow sheds and then worship them. With the help of cow dung, they make a statue of King Bali and flower garlands are put and then he is worshipped.
The people even donate reverence, alms and worship their instruments, arms and all the machinery items.
Importance of Bali Pratipada
The festival of Bali Pratipada is a very important festival for the Hindus and farmers. Apart from this, we learn from this festival that every person on this earth gets necessary things according to their requirements.
They should not ask for more. Not only this but, giving too much to someone is also not good.
If a person gets beyond his needs his behaviour changes which has a chance of disturbing the other people present on the earth.
Both these concepts should be understood very carefully. Otherwise our state will become similar to what happened with Bali.
Bali was given a blessing by Lord Vishnu to come to earth for one day and gift people with joy, wisdom, happiness and love.
But instead he stays for three days. So, the people get three days to seek his blessings. These three days are very important and special.
If perform good things during these days like wedding, buying new properties or helping others, this will act as a benefit for them.
Thus, all the festivals teach us that evil always loses against from the good. We should stay away from the evil and do not perform any evil doings. If we do so, we will be the ones to suffer.
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