Diwali is one of the major festivals celebrated in India with immense enthusiasm, joy, and grandeur. It is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. The word Diwali originates from the Sanskrit.
Being celebrated all over India, the celebration varies based on specific cultures, traditions, customs, and rituals. Every year the Diwali festival falls between late October to mid-November. On this prominent festival, people adorn their homes and worship Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha.
Diwali, also known as Deepawali, symbolises new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. The festival is also called the "Festival of Lights", as light is a metaphor for the enlightenment of consciousness.
Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Deepavali' where 'deep' means light and 'avali' means a row, "a row of lights".
Diwali is celebrated precisely on the 20th day after Dussehra, and it is a five-day festival where Diwali is celebrated on the third day. According to the Hindu Lunar calendar, Diwali, the festival of light, is observed on the Amavasya of the Kartika (Mid October-Mid November). In 2024, Diwali falls on 31st October, Thursday.
Diwali celebrates the importance of wisdom, the victory of inner light over spiritual darkness, knowing and seeking the good and right pathway, and knowledge over ignorance and right over wrong.
It is believed that when we light a candle, oil/ghee, or lamp, it illuminates the positive energy within us and spreads it around.
According to mythology, Diwali is celebrated because, on this day, Lord Rama, Goddess Sita and Lord Lakshmana return to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile.
On Diwali, people start preparations a few days before the festival. For this auspicious festival, homes, temples, workplaces and public places are cleaned, renovated and decorated with flowers, colourful lights and other fancy decorations.
On the day of Diwali, prayer ceremonies, oil lamps (diyas) and candles are lit to invite and renew all the positive energies of wealth, prosperity and well-being.
Apart from this, fairs are also organized in villages and towns. People also exchange gifts and sweets with their friends, family and relatives and also practise charity for the needy ones.
Firecrackers are also lit, which signifies a way to drive away the evil spirits. Some people celebrate Diwali by worshipping Goddess Lakshmi or Goddess Kali.
Diwali is celebrated enthusiastically all over India, including Jaipur, Goa, Varanasi, Kolkata and Delhi. On the occasion of Diwali, the entire city of Jaipur, the pink city, can be seen in the warm glow of diyas and lights. Competitions are also organised to decorate the best streets in the city.
Diwali is also grandly celebrated in India's smallest state, Goa, where the main focus is the destruction of the Narakasura, the Asura king. Competitions are also held in Goa to see who can make the biggest idol of the demon Narakasura.
Varanasi, the holy place of India, organise special Ganga Aarti on this auspicious festival Diwali. In Kolkata, Goddess Kali is worshipped on Diwali, and people across the state visit the Kali temples at Belur Math, Kalighat, and Dakshineswar.
Diwali or Deepavali is a festival that signifies the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. This festival is celebrated all over India, including northern, western, and eastern India. It is a five-day festival which usually falls in October-November.
The festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil, and lightning lamps represent the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness.
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