If you are a Hindu, then Diwali is one festival you can never miss to celebrate. Like every other festival in the Hindu calendar, this auspicious festival of light is also associated with Indian mythology and the customs and traditions that are followed from centuries across, are totally inspired from from legends.
Festivals are meant to honor the Divine supremacy where as the various customs and traditions associated to it, are meant to improve the quality of life one leads.
Diwali is associated with several customs, where all the five days have significance of their own. On the first day of celebration, the dhanteras, people purchase jewellery or any metal as a sign of prosperity and good luck. On the third day, or the main Diwali night, Goddess Laxmi is prayed, with five “diyas” or lamps, “naivadya” or traditional sweets and “aarti” or traditional hymns, in almost every household for prosperity, wealth, peace and longevity.
Lamps form an integral part of the festival, because Diwali itself is celebrated for lighting up of one’s life’. The ‘diyas’ or lamps are lit up to usher in light, remove darkness from one’s life and welcome success, health, wealth, peace, knowledge, and fame. Also it is done to remember the return of the legendary Lord Rama from exile after 14 years with his wife Sita where the citizens lit diyas from the outskirts of Ayodhya to the heart of the kingdom. People decorate the doors, windows and balconies of their home with rows of beautiful and colorful lamps, specially made up of clay well decorated by the members of the family.
Decorating one’s household during the festival is one more custom associated with Diwali. People clean their houses and sometimes paint it fresh as well. They decorate their lawns and entrances of the houses with different colors and flowers because they believe these traditional decorations or “Rangolis” will make Goddess Laxmi enter their homes. Burning firecrackers form another important part of celebrating the grand festival. They are believed to burn all the negative energies out and bring new hope and aspirations with everything positive in one’s life.
Lavish displays of fireworks are visible during this time in almost all parts of the country. The scientific reason is that the fumes produced by the burnt crackers kill lots of insects. The tradition of gambling is prevalent in North India, because according to legendary tales, Goddess parvati plays gambles with Lord shiva and she blesses everyone who does the same on the night, with wealth and prosperity. People visit each other’s house with sweets and traditional or trendy gifts, and above all, heartfelt wishes.
One must not forget that customs and traditions are followed and rituals are performed for an individuals’ mental satisfaction. They make the atmosphere exuberant and colorful with positive vibrations spread all along. These traditions also are helpful for the younger members of the family, so that they learn and continue them in future. all the members of the family get an opportunity to spend some quality time together and the bond strengthens.