Diwali, also spelled Divali, one of the major religious festivals in Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism, lasting for five days from the 13th day of the dark half of the lunar month Ashvina to the second day of the light half of the lunar month Karttika. … Diwali oil lamps.
Deepawali or Diwali is the festival of lights and is one of the most celebrated festivals of the year. As per the Hindu epic Ramayana, it is a day when Lord Rama, Goddess Sita, Lakshmana, and Hanuman returned to Ayodhya after spending 14 years in forests. Apart from it, it is also believed that Goddess Lakshmi was born on Diwali during the churning of the cosmic ocean (Samudra Manthan). Thus, Goddess Lakshmi is the most significant deity during Diwali Puja.
When Diwali Is Celebrated?
As per the Hindu calendar, Diwali is observed on Amavasya (or new moon) – the 15th day – of the month of Kartik, every year. On this day, Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha are worshipped in the worship known as Deepavali Puja or Lakshmi Ganesh Pujan.
How To Celebrate Diwali ?
How to Celebrate Diwali in India
There’s no better way to understand a culture than participating in a grand festival. Here’s how you can celebrate Diwali in India.
Diwali is undoubtedly one of the biggest festivals in India. Every year at the end of autumn, people come together in all corners of the country, to commemorate this joyous occasion with much fanfare.
Dressed in colorful new clothes, families get together to eat and make merry, and there’s plenty of light and sound everywhere.
If you are planning a trip to India in October/November this year, what better way to understand the culture and heritage of the country than through a grand festival? Enjoy special activities organized by Enchanting Travels’ just for our guests.
Celebrate Diwali in Delhi
The City of Djinns brings its own festive fervor to the celebrations, which is best experienced in the midst of a local family gathering. Visit the family home of your host in Delhi to witness the entire house lit up with hundreds of diyas (oil lamps) and glittering string lights, to commemorate Lord Rama’s return from exile.
Gorge on delicious sweets and watch your hosts light up the night sky with firecracker after cracker! If you are up to it, try your hand at lighting a few of your own!
Celebrate Diwali in Varanasi
Diwali celebrations in Varanasi is an enchanting experience! Here too you can visit a local family home and light many a diya (oil lamp) to illuminate the house. Choose from various firecrackers that you can light along with your hosts and partake of a special dinner with the family, before moving on to those delicious sweets. If you wish, you can also visit the ghats (traditional steps leading to the river) and witness the traditional rituals and ceremonies being performed.
Celebrate Diwali in Jaipur
The brightly lit Pink City of Jaipur, is a site to behold during Diwali! At the Durbar Hall of Shahpura House, you are welcomed with smiles and garlands. As the traditional Indian folk dancers around you shake a leg, enjoy a refreshing welcome drink before the festivities begin.
Welcome ceremony in Rajasthan
What follows is a beautiful Diwali puja (prayer) ceremony conducted by the royal family of Shahpura, just like the olden days! Afterwards, you’ll find a grand buffet waiting for you on the rooftop as you enjoy the fireworks display. Don’t feel shy to light a few of your own after dinner!
Celebrate Diwali in Jodhpur
In Jodhpur too you have the chance to celebrate Diwali traditions in India with a local family. Grab your box of candles and travel to meet the family, where you can help your hosts decorate their home with lights. Witness a puja (prayer) ceremony held to appease Laxmi, the Hindu goddess of prosperity.
Diyas lit inside the house to appease Goddess Laxmi
Afterwards, enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal with your hosts before you begin lighting firecrackers. End your evening on a sweet note as your exchange treats with your host before bidding farewell.
Why Diwali Is Celebrated ?
The festival of Diwali or Deepawali, also known as the festival of lights, according to the Hindu calendar is celebrated on the ‘Amaavas’ (no moon day) of ‘Kartik’ (October or November according to the gregorian calendar).
This festival is celebrated across India in different ways and for different reasons. While some believe that it marks the day of the killing of a demon named Narkasur by Lord Krishna, some believe that Diwali marks the day of the return of the Pandavaas to Hastinapur.
The most popular legend prevalent across the country is that this day marks the triumphant return of Supreme Lord Shree Ram and the Mother of the Universe Sita to Ayodhya from their exile of 14 years after defeating the demon king Ravana.
It is said that when Shree Ram was entering the city, all the citizens wished to meet him first. Seeing their desire, he multiplied himself into as many forms as there were people and met them all simultaneously. Each person felt that God had come to them first. This was the scene as Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya, and it is to commemorate this event that we decorate with lights on Diwali. We are meant to feel that we are decorating in anticipation of God’s arrival in our homes and in our hearts.
Even though Diwali is mainly considered a Hindu festival, the day marks different events in different communities. Everywhere, Diwali symbolizes the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”.
What Is The Origin Of Diwali?
Origin of Diwali as per holy scriptures, hindu mythology was return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya post his war mission against King Ravan. People of Ayodhya wanted to see the return of their king and queen and thousand of soldiers who participated in the war. They celebrated this day as a victory of good over evil and oil lamps became the symbol of this victory. Since, there was no electricity during those times, they decided to light Oil Lamps (also called Diyas) along the way to illuminate the places. The celebration was accompanied by music and dance. It is also mentioned in few stories narrated by experts on holy scriptures that the people manufactured hand-made crackers to make it part of the celebration. Gourmet food, new clothes, cleaning of the house, road, city became part of the ritual. The cleaning of the road was primarily because Lord Rama and his accompanies were walking bear-foot and the people didn’t want them to get hurt along the road. Also, it was a mission to greet him in a neat and clean place.
On the very same day, Goddess Laxmi emerged out of churning of ocean milk (also called Samundra Manthan) and chose Lord Vishnu as her husband. It marks the beginning of Lord Ganesh chosen as the God of Wisdom and Auspicious Beginnings. Therefore for Hindus it is also the beginning of the new calendar year and new books of accounts. Most of the Indian-Hindu Businessmen clean up their offices, shops on this day and starts a new Book-keeping process.
If you are to refer to the Skanda and Padma purana both completed during the 2nd half of 1st Millennium AD the Diwali celebration transcended from a story from an earlier generation. It is a celebration of good over evil. The diyas are symbol of the SUN, the owner of cosmic energy that transcends over mother earth during the month of Karthik i.e. just after summers. It is also considered to be a story of Yama and Nachiketa and considered to be the victory of true wealth over wealth, ignorance vs knowledge and right vs wrong. King Harsha of 7th Century celebrated Diwali in his kingdom by offering gifts to the newly married couples to mark a new beginning.