The Light festival in India!
Festival of Lights - Deepavali.
Deepavali is one of the important festival celebrated in India during October-November. The name is the combination of two words; Deepa + Avali, the meaning is Light kept in lines. During the festival, most of the homes are decorated with serials of earthen light which enlighten the entire surroundings.. Also colorful crackers are lit which will shower light in different colors. Many varieties of crackers, improvised rockets, ground wheels, are exhibited by youngsters in every home. There will be deafening sound due to varieties of detonating crackers.
In the early morning, all members of the family rise up, wash their teeth and faces and take oil bath. First they will smear their head and body with til oil and wash it off with different varieties of powders. Everyone has to take hot water bath on that day. After that they wear new cloths, eat the sweet and hot snacks. Friends and relatives greet each other on that day. Also sweet and savories are exchanged with one another. This day is celebrated due to the boon granted to a demon named "Narakasura" who was killed by the spouse of Sri Krishna. While dying, he extracted the boon from the Lord that people must celebrate the day every year with hot water bath, wearing new cloths, eating sweets and savories and bursting crackers. Hence this festival has got historic significance dating back to around 5000 years.
Even the poor people celebrate it in a humble manner by purchasing cheap dresses and eating sweets etc. This festival is dear to the children, boys and girls since they get new dresses, eat the sweets and burst the crackers. There is also a philosophical meaning behind this festival. The ancient sages have prescribed a daily prayer invoking God which runs as follows. Lead me from darkness to Light, Lead me from ignorance to knowledge, Lead me from death to immortality! These prayers are on the lips of many Indians everyday.
The interesting part of the festival is that it is celebrated differently in each state of India. Business community start their new year on the day of Deepavali by starting a fresh account book. They worship goddess Lakshmi, who is the repository of wealth and welfare. Ladies in North India decorate their houses with serial earthen lamps, wear new cloths and sing many prayer songs on the goddess. It is a five day festival for North Indian people, especially business communities. Sweets occupy an important place in the festival. Bursting of crackers are common in entire India. By slaying the demon, Lord Krishna brought happiness in the life of the people of that region. Narakasura was very cruel, tortured the pious people, many ladies were abducted by him and imprisoned in prisons.
Lord Krishna decided to end the atrocities of the demon and with the help of his queen, he killed the demon. He could have finished him easily but a boon obtained by the demon has prevented the Lord from directly eliminate him. Hence his queen killed the demon as per the conditions of boon obtained by the demon from God.. Even in overseas countries where Indians settled, they celebrate it as a community festival. It is veritably called the Festival of Lights!