Festivals are important occasions or celebration in our life. They bring joy and happiness in everyone’s life.
Some festivals are celebrated for a person while some for good news or for a victory. But every festival gives the same happiness. Festival unites the people.
The celebration becomes more special when we share our joy and happiness with others. Diwali is a festival which brings joy and happiness everywhere.
It brings light in everyone’s life. Even though the festival is only for a few days, the celebration is a grand one.
What is Diwali?
Diwali is known as the festival of lights. This means that this festival brings light wherever there is darkness.
The festival of Diwali is for five days. Each day has a celebration and they have different names.
The first day is Dhanteras which is followed by Choti Diwali, and then the big day of Diwali, the fourth day is Goverdhan Puja or Viswakarma and the fifth day is Bhai Dooj.
Diwali is the celebration of light’s victory over darkness.
The other name of Diwali is Deepavali. The word ‘deep’ means lamp or light while ‘avali’ means row. This shows that during the festival rows of lamps are kept in the house.
Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists. But they have different reasons to celebrate this festival of lights.
History of Diwali
There are many reasons as to why people celebrate Diwali, the festival of light. These reasons are from the religious history.
First, Goddess Lakshmi was born on this day during the day time. She was born due to the churning of cosmic ocean of milk. Later at night she chose Lord Vishnu to be her husband. This is the reason why lamps are lit on this festival.
The return of Lord Rama is an important event for this festival as it is believed that this led to the celebration of Diwali.
Lord Rama returned from exile to Ayodhya. He killed Ravan and saved Sita. When they were returning, the city of Ayodhya was dark. So, the entire city was decorated with lights and lamps.
It is said that Goddess Kali was born from the forehead of Goddess Durga after the demons won against the gods.
Goddess Kali was born to save everyone from the demons. She killed almost all the devils. She started to kill whoever came in front of her. But she was stopped by Lord Shiva.
When she stepped on Lord Shiva, she was filled with horror and repentance. This can be seen on her idol where her tongue is out and she is stepping out. This day is celebrated as Kali Puja at the same time when Diwali is celebrated.
Diwali is important even for the Jains as this festival celebrates the enlightenment of the founder of modern Jainism, Vardhamana Mahavira.
He was the last Tirthankara of the Jains. Thus, the celebration is important for the religious Jains. This day celebrates the independence of the human spirit from the materialistic world and earthly desires.
How is Diwali celebrated?
The celebration is for five days. Each day has different names and has its own importance. The first day is known as Dhanteras.
This takes place on the thirteenth day from the full moon. On this day the Goddess Lakshmi was born. She is known as the Goddess of Wealth.
People buy gold, utensils or other things on this day. The fourteenth day or the second day of Diwali is known as Choti Diwali or Narak Chaturdasi.
It is believed that on this day Lord Krishna freed the world from fear by destroying Narakasur, the demon. People start to burst crackers from this day.
The third day is the actual Diwali. This is the most important day in the five day celebration. People welcome Goddess Lakshmi on this day.
On this day people give gifts and sweets to family and friend to show love. They wear new clothes and have delicious food today. The entire night crackers are burst everywhere.
The next day is Govardhan Puja. On this day, Lord Krishna lifted the mountain of Govardhan and protected the Gokul people from the rage of Indra.
On this day people worship the heap of grain that symbolized the mountain. This puja is performed to celebrate Lord Krishna’s win over Indra.
The last day is known as Bhai Dooj. It is known by different names in the country. On this day, the sisters pray for the long and prosperous life of their brothers.
They put a tika on the brothers forehead. The brothers then bless them and give them gifts.
People clean their house a few days before Diwali. They paint and decorate the house with lights and lamps. Even the shopkeepers decorate their shops with beautiful lights.
The lamp keeps burning the entire night during the festival of Diwali reflecting the victory of light over darkness.
Diwali is also about the win of the good over evil. The people celebrate this festival with their neighbours and friends, wear new clothes, eat delicious food, sing, dance and enjoy the festival of light.
The children eagerly wait for the festival of Diwali as they get to burst the crackers. They are extremely happy while playing with the crackers.
Importance of Diwali
Diwali is celebrated by different religions for different reasons. But overall the festival is all about the victory of light over darkness.
The festival reminds the people that the good wins over the evil, truth over lie and hope over despair. These victories are symbolized by decorating the house with diyas or lamp.
The festival teaches the people to share their happiness with each other.
Diwali, the festival of light is all about celebrations, excitement, fireworks, lamps, delicious food and many other things.
People come together to celebrate this festival full of lights in every place. But we should also be careful with the lights, lamps and the crackers.
The children must burst the crackers carefully. No one should be hurt. The elders should stay with the children when they burst the crackers.