Diwali, Divali, or Hari Deepawali is one of the major Indian and Nepalese festive holidays.
Divali celebrations are spread over five days in most of North India. All the days except Divali are named according to their designation in the Hindu calendar.
The Five days of Diwali:
- Dhanatrayodashi or Dhan teras
- Naraka Chaturdashi
- Lakshmi Puja (Pooja)
- Govardhan Puja (Annakut)
- Bhaiduj (also Bhayyaduj, Bhaubeej or Bhayitika)
There are two legends that associate the worship of Goddess Lakshmi.
On this day, Goddess Lakshmi emerged from Kshira Sagar, the Ocean of Milk, during the great churning of the oceans, Samudra manthan.
The other legend relates to the Vamana avatar of Vishnu, the incarnation he took to kill the demon king Bali, thereafter it was on this day, that Vishnu came back to his abode, the Vaikuntha, so those who worship Lakshmi (Vishnu’s consort) on this day, get the benefit of her benevolent mood, and are blessed with mental, physical and material well-being.
The celebrations of Indian New Year include use of fresh flowers for decorative purposes, exchange of gifts and greetings, meeting up with friends and family members. Different people celebrate the festival in different ways but the common traditions associated with the Indian New Year are the lighting up of lights and candles, igniting of fireworks, exchanging of gifts and good wishes
Meaning of Diwali – what is Divali
At a metaphysical level, Deepawali is a festival signifying the victory of good over evil; the latter is destroyed and reduced to ashes by fireworks is the belief of the people. This festival is celebrated on a grand scale in almost all the regions of India and is looked upon often as the beginning of Indian New Year. The first day of Diwali is also regarded to be the New Year for business houses, who pay off their debts and decorate their offices for getting wealth and prosperity in the coming year.
People wear new clothes, exchange gifts and greeting cards and also decorate their houses in the hope of having a happy and prosperous New Year. People take special care in decorating their houses, as they go for white washing of their homes, of having decorative rangolis painted on their entrance and walls.
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