From ArticleWorld

Diwali is celebrated for five consecutive days, each day signifying various celebration, ritual and auspicious event. It is associated with very many different beliefs and folklores in the various regions in India.

Diwali is mostly popular for its association with firecrackers, colorful patterns on the floors, exchange of sweets between households, creating a bonhomie and atmosphere of renovation and rejuvenation and liveliness in the society.

Generally falling in the months of October-November according to Gregorian calendar, it starts two days prior to the first new moon of the Hindu month, Ashwin, to do away with darkness and evil and ring in the bright and auspicious is how the celebration of Diwali is more properly described.


The rituals

The five days of Diwali start on “Dhantrayodashi” signifying the importance of health and well-being (equated to wealth). The following day, “Narakchaturdashi”, begins with a pre dawn bath to the firing of crackers, marking the end of evil and darkness. The third day, “Laxmi Puja” is the most popular and important day for seeking the blessings of the Goddess of wealth –Laxmi. Each room of every house is decorated with oil lamps (Diwa’s/Deepa) to invoke the blessings of deities all through Diwali. This day is followed by the “Varsha-Pratipada” (year-first day). Fervently and devoutly celebrated by the business community as their new accounting year beginning. The fifth day of Diwali is more of a family affair, siblings, refreshing the bonds of love and affection. On this day, known as “Bhaiyyaduj”, the sisters wish their brothers a long and prosperous life.

Diwali in Sikhism

Sikhs celebrate Diwali to commemorate the laying of the foundation stone of their sacred Golden Temple, Amritsar. It is also celebrated as the release of their holy Guru Hargobindji from the prison of Gwalior by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. The day is marked by a holy bath in the sacred tank and lighting of lamps in the households and rituals similar in fervor to the Hindus.

Diwali in Jainism

Historically, Diwali is the day of attainment of Nirvana of Lord Mahavir, so also of his principle disciple. The day following Diwali marks the beginning of their new year.

Diwali worldwide

The marked enthusiasm of this festival has seeped into the tradition of many nations across the globe with the emigration of Hindus.

  • In Malaysia, known as Hari Deepavali, it is a Federal Republic Holiday, celebrated much in the same way as in India.
  • Known as Tihar in Nepal, it is similarly celebrated as in India for five days, with regional variations.
  • In the Caribbean Islands, a lot of fanfare attracts the presence of even the Government functionaries as it is a national holiday too.