Indian Festival | Diwali | The Hindu Festival Of Lights
Diwali Date 2016
Diwali this year is on 30 October 2016.
Diwali, also called Deepawali, is a festival of India, especially celebrated by Hindus where ever they may reside. People from other castes too celebrate it with vigor, though for different reasons. But for whatever reasons it is celebrated the fervour in people at all times is at a high pitch.
Besides India, Diwali festival is celebrated in Nepal,Sri Lanka,Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Myanmar, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago And Fiji.
It is one of the most celebrated festivals, marked by illumination of homes, offices, work places etc and bursting of firecrackers. In the good old days bursting of crackers would start almost a month before Diwali.
Diwali is celebrated when the the new moon is seen, sometime between mid-October to mid-November. The dates keep changing every year because the lunar calendar is followed.
Earthen lamps are filled with oil and lighted to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. The lamps are kept lighted at night along with the illuminations and bursting of crackers, into the wee hours of the morning. Garlands made of mango leaves and marigold flowers are hung in the doorways.
Diwali- A Five Day celebration
Diwali festival is in fact a conglomeration of 5 events... one event or occasion being celebrated each day.
First Day - The first day of diwali is Dhanteras day. People buy utensils on this day as also some ornaments of gold or silver, hoping that this would bring them good luck .
In the evening earthen lamps are lit and Laxmi Puja is performed-the Goddess Laxmi(Goddess of wealth) is worshipped for a prosperity.
Second Day - This is the day prior to Diwali also called choti diwali day (small diwali day). It is also known as Naraka Chaturdas day. Naraka was a demon who was killed by Lord Krishna and this day celebrates the killing of the demon.
Third Day - This is Diwali day. People get dressed in new clothes. Sweets and gifts are given to relatives and friends. In the evening Laxmi Puja is performed( Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth, is worshipped). This day also marks the last day of the financial year for businessmen. New account books are worshipped on this day and the new financial year starts on the next day, the fourth day, also called Padwa day.
Rangoli- a colourful floral pattern is drawn on the floor near the entrance to the home to welcome guests and the Goddess Laxmi.
The homes,offices, workplaces etc are illuminated with lights from outside and inside and doors and windows of homes are kept open in the hope that Goddess Laxmi only visits homes having their doors open.
Many people especially those rich have made a ritual of gambling on this day, by playing cards, believing that gambling today will bring them prosperity all the year.
Fourth Day - It is called Govardhan Puja day and Padwa( New Year) day. It is the first day of the new year. Govardhan Puja (worship of Govardhan) also is done today. Lord Krishna is worshipped on this day. Legend has it that Lord Krishna lifted the mountain Govardhan to save the people from the deluge caused by incessant rains and hence on this day Govardhan Puja is done.
Fifth Day - Bhai Dooj Day (sisters' day). On this day, brothers visit their sisters homes ,partake food , give gifts expressing love and affection and enquire about their welfare.
The fifth day marks the end of the 5 day diwali festival celebrations.
Some Important Historical Events Associated With The Diwali Festival
1. Lord Rama returned home after 14 years of exile and vanquishing Raavana in war.
2. Narakasura, thedemon was killed by Lord Krishna.
3. The Pandavas returned home after 13 years of exile which includes 1 year of living incognito.
4. Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana or Eternal bliss on this day.
5. This day has a special significance for Sikhs. The 6th Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji was released from Gwalior prison. He refused to leave until the other 52 imprisoned princes too were released, compelling the authorities to to release them too. A condition was attached however that as many as could hold on to the cloak of Guruji would be released. Guruji got stitched a special cloak having 52 tails one each for a prisoner and this way all the 52 princes could come out holding 1 tail.
Sikhs celebrate this day as Bandi Chorrh day or the day of freedom of the imprisoned.
6. In Bengal Diwali is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Kali- the goddess of strength.
Diwali is the most enthusiastically, nationwide celebrated festival. People from all walks of life get together forgetting cast, creed, religious and background differences and come together to share love and joy.
Diwali festivity is a sight to watch and experience though nowadays the old pomp and splendour is not very evident because of the economic crunch faced by every one. Still, parents have to give in to the demands of the children and one can see children especially, celebrating diwali by bursting crackers without a care.
Given below are some links to sweets and other food prepared during Diwali. These recipes are from all parts of India.
From Andhra Pradesh - Boppai(papaya) Halwa(Sweet) Recipe
- BOPPAI HALWA, papaya sweet, raw papaya halwa, Indian boppai halwa.
Boppai Halwa is a delicious Indian recipe served as a Dessert, Boppai is easily available and rich in nutrients and vitamins.
From Goa - Pinaca(Traditional Sweets) Recipe
From Gujarat - Malpuas Stuffed With Rabadi Recipe
From Madhya Pradesh - Kusli Recipe
A fine hub on Diwali floor Decorations And How To Make Them By Hubber Ishwaryaa Dhandapaani
- How to Create Easy Handmade and Reusable Diwali Floor Decorations
Indian floor decorations are created on important occasions and festivals including Diwali. Learn how to make bright and reusable floor decorations in a simple step by step manner.
Some of my other hubs on Indian Festivals
- Vijayadashmi-Dussehra (2012)- The Festival Of The Celebration Of The Victory Of Good Over Evil
Dussehra is one of the major Hindu festivals celebrated in India. To know more about this festival, read on...
- Ganesh Chaturthi Or Ganpati - The Celebration Of The Festival Of The Elephant God
Ganpati, Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganeshotsav and Vinayaka Chaturti are the many names by which the festival of Ganpati is known by. To know more about the festival of the Elephant God, read on...
- Baisakhi Or Vaisakhi (2012) Celebrations - The Wheat Harvest Festival In North India With Images
Baisakhi also known as Vaisakhi is not only a harvest festival of North India but has a religious significance attached to it. To know more read on...
- Bhai Dooj - A Hindu Festival
Bhai Dooj is a Hindu festival celebrating a sister's love for her brother. To know more about this Indian festival of Hindus, read on...
- Dhanteras (2012) - A Festival Of Hindus
Dhanteras is a festival of Hindus celebrated in India two days before the diwali festival. To know more about the festival and its rituals, read on...
© 2011 Rajan Singh Jolly