Today is Dhanteras, the first day of 5 day Diwali. Do you know what is Dhanteras?
Most Indians celebrate Diwali (Deepavali) festival for 5 days. The first day is Dhanteras, then follows Naraka chaturdashi, Diwali, Govardhan puja and Bhai dooj. Each day has its own legend for celebrating the festival. "Dhan" means wealth and "Teras" means 13th day of the fortnight. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi enters the house on this day. So, people purchase gold or silver coins and new metal utensils on this day and worship Goddess offering these coins and preparing sweet dish in the utensils. Lights are kept shining throughout evening and night to welcome the goddess.
I only know about Diwali because of SMITE, as they usually have special sales and events in-game during Diwali centered around the Hindu pantheon. Sounds like an interesting holiday, and a lot of the celebrations I've seen online are really neat.
(SMITE is, of course, an online game where you play as gods from various pantheons and fight in several different arenas with different goals. The pantheons include Greek, Roman, Norse, Egyptian, Hindu, Chinese, and Mayan.)
Yep, the SMITE Diwali celebration is today, it seems. Lots of discounts on stuff for the Hindu gods, and there's a special Hindu-only Match of the Day. Since Diwali is all about Rama vs. Ravana, it's especially entertaining that both are playable. :V
I already mentioned above about the importance of 5 days. First day is Dhanteras. People shop on this day for Diwali. New clothes, utensils, gold and silver ornaments and fire crackers. This is pre-preparation. Lakshmi puja is done at evening.
SKPERDON, I am putting my answer to your query here (as only 250 words allowed in replies thread. The second day is Narak Chaturdashi or Small Diwali. It was the day when Sri Krishna fought with demon Naraka and killed him with the help of his consort Satyabhama. When Krishna fell unconscious in the fight, Satyabhama fought with the demon and kept him engaged. Then Sri Krishna got conscious and killed him with his Chakra. So it is celebrated as small Diwali. The real Deepavali is on 3rd day when all people celebrate the death of Naraka and other demons and enjoy the day with sweets, new clothes, entertainments and fire crackers. The 4th day is Govardhan puja. It is said that Sri Krishna saved all cattle and people by lifting a mountain known as Govardhana on this day to protect them from the thunders and cyclones. So people worship the mountain, Sri Krishna and the cattle on this day. 5th day is Bhai Dooj a festival for brothers. Sisters welcome the brothers and pay respects to them and feed them with delicious dishes and seek their blessings and good wishes.
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