Diwali, a popular festival in India, has been given an enormous spiritual reverence in Hindu mythology. Known as the festival of lights, Deepawali is celebrated with great fervour in our country. On this day, people decorate their homes using lights and Diyas with joy-filled in their hearts. Gifts are exchanged, and all the decorations and fun are followed by a puja ceremony in the evening, after which people devour scrumptious meals and sweets with their loved ones.
Diwali celebrations trace their origin back to the time when Lord Rama, his wife Goddess Sita, and his brother Lakshamana returned after a 14-year exile post defeating the demon and Mayavi king Ravana to take his rightful place on the throne of Ayodhya.
So, we can say that the Diwali festival, in its essence, symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance, light being a metaphor for knowledge and higher consciousness.
According to the Gregorian calendar, it falls between mid-October and mid-November.
According to the popular legend, when Ravana kidnapped Goddess Sita, Lord Rama had to make an impossible journey to the land of Sri Lanka situated deep down south to save her. And on his journey, he found many trustworthy followers like Lord Hanuman and the Vanar Sena, who helped Lord Rama to free his beloved wife from the demon king Ravana.
Another mythological remnant of history states that it was on this day in Dwaparayuga when Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura. The demon was the king of Pragjyotishapur, and his death at the hands of Lord Krishna freed 16,000 women held in his captivity. Thus, the festival of Diwali is celebrated as a triumph of good over evil.
Many Hindus associate the Diwali festival in India with Goddess Lakshmi. The legends suggest that it was on this day when Goddess Lakshmi was born from the epic Samudra Manthan, the churning of the cosmic ocean of milk by the Gods (Devas) and the Asuras (Demons). This is a very ancient legend and traces its roots back to many Puranas. One such Purana that mentions this, particularly, is the Padma Purana.
It has been mentioned in the ancient Sanskrit texts that the Hindu festival of Diwali has also been considered the day that marks the onset of the harvest season in India. Padma Purana and Skanda Purana mention this fact.
What is more intriguing is that many foreign travellers and historians have also explained Diwali. For example, in the 11th century, a Persian traveller named Al Biruni mentioned this festival in his life memoir as the festival celebrated by the Hindu people on the New Moon day in the Kartika month. Apart from that, a Venetian merchant named Niccolò de' Conti also mentioned Diwali in his memoir in the 15th century.
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Diwali celebrations go on for five days, starting from Dhanteras to the day of Diwali itself and then Bhai Dooj. Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi are majorly worshipped on Diwali because they are meant to bring loads of happiness, wealth, and good luck to families. Apart from that, the bazaars and homes are decorated with great pomp and show. People light Diyas and make rangolis with great enthusiasm. Coming on to the bazaars, they seem to be a grand feast of decorative items to shop around. People visit each other's homes with gifts and an open, welcoming heart. A variety of delicacies are prepared and shared with others.
While the festival's soul is the same everywhere, different regions of India have distinct ways of remembering this day. Read on to discover where you can make a trip to explore these fascinating Diwali traditions across the nation. Look at how this festival is celebrated in different parts of the country.
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1. Uttar Pradesh
Lord Rama's home Ayodhya is located in Uttar Pradesh, where Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is the most celebrated occasion. In Varanasi, Diwali is a decoration festival, with the unique Ganga Aarti, which illuminates the whole Ganga with several earthen lamps floating over the surface. Varanasi is also famous for Dev-Deepawali. As the night is spent chanting verses by priests, individuals welcome Diwali by lighting their homes with diyas. It will be amazing to observe Diwali in the biggest state of India, isn't it?
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It is said that Lord Rama remained in Panchvati for a significant amount of time in his life. That place is currently near Nasik, in the province of Maharashtra. The legendary association aside, Maharashtra celebrates Diwali with incredible energy. On Diwali day, Lakshmi-puja is done, where it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi visits the households and brings wealth and success. Mouth-watering delights like chakli, Shankar-pale, anarse, kada boli, karanji, shev, and more are served during Diwali.
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3. Tamil Nadu
While most of the nation celebrates Diwali with crackers, candles, and diyas, the same is not true with Tamil Nadu. On the special occasion of Diwali, the people of the state take a traditional oil shower. Fragrant pepper, betel leaves, and different ingredients are mixed in hot oil for a pre-shower massage. After the bath, new garments are worn, and a tonic called 'Deepavali Lehiyam' is applied to the body as a forerunner to the feast ahead. After that, lighting Diyas, decorating the house and eating to the heart's content follow. Festivities here come to an end by night – the time when celebrations reach their peak in other parts of India. Most Tamilians observe this day as the day of the demise of Narakasura, a dreaded evil.
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In Kolkata and the rest of the region of West Bengal, this day is known as 'Kali Puja'. A reincarnation of goddess Durga, Kali is highly worshipped among Bengalis for her inspiring presence. As a tradition, individuals assemble at neighbourhood places late at night to feast on a sacrificial goat. From that point, the rituals and ceremonies begin and carry on late that night. Homes are lit with traditional rangoli made with powdered rice and diyas. Sparklers are blasted to welcome the Goddess, an epitome of a dark and dynamic feminine force.
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5. Andhra Pradesh
While numerous states in India celebrate this day as the death of Narakasura, in Andhra Pradesh, celebrations include the same as that of Dussehra. The killing of the evil spirit is re-played by theatre artists that play Satyabhama, the consort of Lord Krishna who assassinated him. Crackers portraying Narakasura are burnt during these dramas. There is a lot of focus on purchasing things and gifting. Shop owners treat customers like God and decorate commercial centres exceptionally to welcome buyers.
Q 1. What is Diwali?
A 1. Diwali is one of the most prominent Hindu festivals, celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. The festival has a lot of religious significance and is celebrated with great pomp and show.
Q 2. What happens during the Diwali festival?
A 2. Diwali is a 5-day long festival. Preparations for this festival begin a few weeks earlier: sprucing up homes, preparing sweets and savouries, buying gifts to exchange with friends and family members, decorating the home with lights, burning crackers, and more.
Q 3. How is Diwali, the Festival of Lights, celebrated?
A 3. Diwali, the festival of lights, is a prominent Hindu festival. It is celebrated with great religious fervour and enthusiasm. Prayers and prasad are offered to Goddess Laxmi on the main Diwali day. Homes are decorated, sweets are exchanged, new clothes are worn, and people greet each other.
Q 4. Which are the most important Diwali traditions?
A 4. The traditions followed in Diwali are cleaning the house, preparing sweets and savouries, shopping for decoration items and clothes, bursting firecrackers, exchanging gifts, and greeting each other with wishes.
Q5. How many days celebrate diwali?
A5. India observes 5-day celebrations of Diwali where each day possesses its unique significance. Diwali is celebrated in the Hindu lunisolar months of Ashwin.
Diwali, one of the most important Hindu festivals, is celebrated with a lot of zest and enthusiasm. Although it is a common Indian festival, it is celebrated differently in different places in the country. Plan a trip to any of these places with Adotrip.com, and enjoy a hassle-free flight, train, bus, and hotel bookings. With us, nothing is far!