Portraying the victory of good over evil, the festival of light, aka Diwali is the biggest Hindu festival of all. In its essence, Diwali is all about exploring the light within and vanquishing all the vrittis (flaws) from our human system which is inclusive of our mental, emotional and physical aspects.
Perhaps it is because of this mix of traditional, historical, and cultural significance that the festival of Diwali comes across as one of the star attractions of the lot. Celebrated over a period of five days at the end of Ashvin and start of Kartika month as per the Hindu calendar, and the months of October and November as per the Gregorian calendar, Diwali is a distillation of the Hindu Itihaas into the modern times.
A Bit of Hindu Itihaas (History) Behind the Festival of Diwali
According to the Hindu Itihaas, the festival of Diwali honours the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom of Ayodhya after a 14 year of Vanvas (exile) after killing the demon King Ravana, who had kidnapped his wife, Goddess Sita. Although, most of the world is familiar with this story, there are some other events as well associated with Diwali which many people may not be aware of. For instance, the killing of Narakasura (the king of Pragjyotishpura) by Lord Krishna and the return of Pandavas after the 12-year exile is also associated with the popular Hindu Festival.
The Five Auspicious Days of Diwali
The festival of Diwali starts from Dhanteras and goes on until Bhaidooj and here's everything you need to know about them.
It is the very first day of Diwali and falls on the 13th day of the 2nd half of the lunar month. On this day, as it is considered to be auspicious, people usually buy utensils, silver coins, gold and vehicles for themselves and their families. This day is also commemorated as the birth of Sri Dhanvantari God, who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and is known as the physician of the gods.
This year in 2020, the festival of Dhanteras will be celebrated on November 13. The auspicious time of Dhanteras puja will start from 5:28 pm and will end at 8:07 pm.
2. Naraka-Chaturdasi (Chhoti Diwali)
The second day of Diwali is celebrated as the Naraka Chaturdashi aka Kali Chaudas or Chhoti Diwali. As per the Hindu folklore, it was on this day that demon Narakasura was killed by Lord Shri Krishna, the ninth avatar of Lord Vishnu.
Usually, people get up before sunrise, and as per the tradition, take a holy bath and then wear clean or new clothes which are followed by breakfast with relatives and friends. Aka, Choti Diwali, the Narak Chaturdashi is celebrated a day before the main festival of Diwali and this year in 2020, the day will be commemorated on November 14. The auspicious timings for the rituals will be from 5:23 am to 6:43 am.
3. Lakshmi Puja