Diwali or Deepavali, the festival of lights which is one of the major Hindu festivals is celebrated in all the parts of India during the month of October or November. This year Diwali falls on Sunday, October 30th, 2016. Celebration of Diwali includes millions of lights shining in the sky, deepams lighted outside doors and windows. The festival excitement and rituals usually extend over five days, but the main festival night of Diwali corresponds with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika.

Myths behind Diwali, the festival of lights

Diwali goes back to ancient times in India, as a celebration after the midyear gather according to Hindu calendar during the month of Kartika. The diyas (lights) are specified in Skanda Purana to typically speak to parts of sun, the enormous supplier of light and vitality to all life, who regularly moves in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik.

Hindus in a few parts of India celebrate Diwali with the legend of Yama and Nachiketa on Kartika amavasya (Diwali night). The Nachiketa’s story about right over wrong, genuine riches over transient riches, knowledge over negligence is recorded in Katha Upanishad created in first thousand years BC.

King Harsha, in the 7th century Sanskrit play Nagananda mentions Deepavali as Deepapratipadutsava, where lights were lit and newly engaged brides and grooms were given blessings. Rajasekhara alluded to Deepavali as Dipamalika in his ninth century Kavyamimamsa, wherein he specifies the convention of homes being whitewashed and oil lights enlivening homes, roads and markets in the night. The Persian voyager and antiquarian Al Biruni, in his eleventh century journal on India, composed Deepavali being praised by Hindus on New Moon day of the month of Kartika.

Significance and celebration of Diwali

People in India believe that Diwali is the festival of colorful lights and the biggest shopping season. New cloths, gifts, home appliances, new vehicles and gold jewellery are bought with the belief that Goddess Lakshmi enters the house with wealth and richness.

People also buy gifts to their family members and friends including sweets, new cloths and more depending on their religion and custom. Deepms or Diyas are lighted throughout the house with beautiful rangolis. Children enjoy the festivities of Diwali by bursting crackers. The whole city and each street are decorated with colorful lights in few parts of India.

Celebration of Diwali

Day 1 - Dhanteras

Dhanteras is mostly celebrated in Northern and Western parts of India which starts off the five day festival, Diwali. Houses are cleaned, renovated and decorated. Women decorate the entrances with colourful Rangoli designs. For few, the day praises the agitating of cosmic ocean of milk between the strengths of good and powers of insidiousness; this day marks the birthday of Lakshmi , the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, and the birthday of Dhanvantari, the God of Health and Healing. On the night of Dhanteras, diyas (lamps) are kept blazing all through the night in the honor of Goddess Lakshmi and Dhanvantari.

Dhanteras is additionally a noteworthy shopping day, especially for gold or silver articles. Lakshmi Puja is performed at night. A few people embellish their shops, work place or things symbolizing their wellspring of sustenance and thriving.

 Day 2 - Naraka Chaturdasi

Narak Chaturdasi is the second day of festivities, and is also called Choti Diwali. The Hindu literature narrates that the asura (demon) Narakasura was killed on this day by Krishna, Satyabhama and Kali. The day is celebrated by early morning religious rituals and festivities followed on. This day is commonly celebrated as Diwali in Tamil Nadu, goa and karnataka. Typically, house decoration and colourful floor patterns called rangoli are made on or before Narak Chaturdasi. Special bathing rituals such as a fragrant oil bath are held in some regions, followed by minor pujas. Women decorate their hands with henna designs. Families are also busy preparing homemade sweets for main Diwali.

Narak Chaturdasi is the second day of Deepawali festivities. The Hindu literature portrays that the Asura (evil spirit) Narakasura was killed on this day by Krishna, Satyabhama and Kali. The day is celebrated by early morning religious ceremonies and rituals took after on. This day is normally celebrated as Deepawali Southern parts of India - Tamil Nadu, Goa and Karnataka. Usually, houses are decorated with beautiful colourful Rangoli designs and Deepams thought. Unique bathing rituals early in the morning, with fragrant oil shower are held in a few places, followed by minor pujas. Women embellish their hands with mehandi. Special sweets are prepared and offered to Goddess Lakshmi during Puja.

 Day 3 - Lakshmi Puja

The third day is the main festive day of Diwali. People wear new cloths. Most of the girls get ready in traditional outfits indicating the enthusiasm celebration of the festival. Diyas/ Deepams are lit up, pujas are offered to Goddess Lakshmi, and extra divinities relying upon the district of India; normally Ganesha, Saraswati, and Kubera are also worshipped on this day. Goddess Lakshmi symbolizes riches and success, and her blessings are invoked on this day.

Lakshmi is believed to wander the earth on Diwali night. On the night of Diwali, individuals open their Doors and windows to welcome Lakshmi, and place diya lights on their windowsills and gallery edges to welcome her in. On this day, the moms who buckle down all year are perceived by the family and she is seen to exemplify a piece of Lakshmi, the favorable luck and thriving of the family unit. Little ceramic lights loaded with oil are lit and put in lines by a few Hindus along the parapets of sanctuaries and houses. Some set diyas unfastened on waterways and streams. Vital connections and kinships are likewise perceived amid the day, by seeing relatives and companions, trading endowments and desserts.

After the puja, crackers are illuminated. The children enjoy sparkles and assortment of small firecrackers, while grown-ups enjoy playing with ground chakra, Vishnu chakra, flower pots, bombs, rockets and bigger firecrackers. The firecrackers imply festivity of Diwali with an approach to pursue away evil spirits.

Day 4 - Balipadyami

The day after Diwali, is praised as Padwa. According to Hindu mythology, Balipadyami is commemorates the victory of Lord Vishnu in his fifth incarnation among Dashavathara, Vamana Avathar for defeating the demon king Bali.

The rituality of this day praises the love and mutual devotion between the husband and wife. Husbands offer astute gifts to their better halves. In various parts of India, married women celebrate their first year of Diwali after marriage in their birth place. The day after Diwali, Goverdhan puja is performed in the honor of Lord Krishna.

Diwali also denotes the start of New Year, in a few parts of India, where the Hindu Vikram Samvat calendar is well known. Merchants and business people finish off their old year, and begin another financial year with gifts from Goddess Lakshmi on this day.

Cherish the sound of blasts and colourful lights in the sky this Diwali with this authentic cracker, sparklers and make this Diwali more special.