Diwali, the 5 day festival of light and sound, is considered to be most auspicious and glamorous festivals among the Hindus.
It is widely celebrated all over the country to mark the victory of good over the bad. Falling usually in the month of October or November, this grand festival is also religiously celebrated in other parts of the world as well.
Like all other Hindu festivals, Diwali also has many religious and social significance and devotion lies in its root. There are many legends and mythological stories associated with the festival, like emergence of laxmi, demolition of Narakasur by Lord Krishna, win of Rama over Ravana, story of Bali and many more.
Due to the variety in customs and traditions, each region in the country has a different way of celebrating the occasion, but the basic sentiments remain the same. Each of the five days of the Diwali celebration has separate significance of its own.
The actual Diwali is celebrated on the third day where people in North India pray to Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, for her blessings, and Lord Ganesha who removes all obstacles from their life for a new beginning. Houses are decorated with earthen lamps or candles or electric bulbs in a row to invoke the festive mood. Delicious and special dishes are prepared in every house so that the entire family can sit together and enjoy. Precious gifts are exchanged among friends and family members, comprising of silver coins, sweets, apparels and others.
People wear new clothes and ornaments, organize diwali parties, and decorate their homes with beautiful Rangolis and wall hangings like torans. They burst crackers at night, to drive the evil out from their lives. It is the time when people forget and forgive all grudges and grief and try to start afresh with new hope and aspirations.
In south, people clean their homes, take oil baths, visit temples, exchange gifts, and receive blessing from the elders as well as from the Almighty. Some people worship cows as they believe that Goddess Laxmi resides in them. In Bengal, Diwali is celebrated in worshipping Goddess kali, the queen of power who is the destroyer of evil. The puja continues from evening till the next morning where devotees pray for the destruction of every bad to welcome every good in life.
It is interesting to see that the rituals and the customs of Diwali celebrations are different but the universal theme remains the same. Every year, Diwali comes back bringing back all the merriment and excitement in one’s life. The celebrations give us an opportunity to spend some quality time with our friends and family which we can’t due to busy schedule of life. Diwali also gives us the ways to illuminate the inner soul of each individual and get connected to the supreme power through true devotion. This festival truly creates a radiant and magical in the entire atmosphere and gives us the power to fight back all the turmoil of life.