Diwali, the festival of lights and lamps, is already around the corner. Surely the event fills up every soul with joy and positivity. Painting the home to make it look sparkling clean is a common practice before the festival arrives.
But what is Diwali, why people celebrate it the way they celebrate, or what is the origin of this festival? Well, if you don’t know already, we are going to present you with the legends behind Diwali. Let’s have a read here-
What is Diwali?
Diwali or Deepavali is an Indian festival that is common among Hindus. It is celebrated by the Hindu community all over India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, along with nearby regions. On the night of Diwali, the entire home is adorned with lights and lamps such as those fairy lights and Diyas filled with mustard oil and a cotton wick to light them up.
It is believed that on the night of Diwali, Goddess Laxmi visits the homes. That is why people clean their homes and paint the wall. They throw all trash away and try to maintain it as clean as possible to receive the sanctification of Goddess Laxmi.
On the night, we worship Goddess Laxmi and Lord Vishnu. People also burst crackers, distribute sweets, and place Diya on theirneighbors’ entrance. They enjoy the mouth-watering feast specially made for Diwali, and they also donate the food the next morning to the poor.
When Does Diwali Occur?
Diwali every year falls in October or November. As per the Indian calendar, it falls in the Kartik month on the night of the new moon. That is why on the night of Diwali, it is also the Amavasya that falls along.
Another calculation is that Diwali happens exactly twenty days after Dussehra, which is another Hindu festival. This year Diwali will be celebrated on 14th November. People also believe that since Diwali happens on the night of Amavasya, lighting Diyas and lamps ward off the negativity and protect the family members from any ill-effects of the night.
The Meaning of the Occasion
Diwali is celebrated for the sake of legends related to it. Today, Diwali is also a chance to improve our social relationships with our relatives and the people we live around. Diwali sets everyone in a festive mood, which gives people a different perception toward life.
They clean and decorate their homes; they invite relatives or visit each other on the day of Diwali. Several other celebrations also happen on Diwali, which strengthensone’s bond with their people.
That is how Diwali in this age, is not just about following the practices but also understanding the value of relations. It is the festival that brings families together, and in some Hindu calendars, it also depicts the beginning of the new year.
Other than worshipping Goddess Laxmi, people worship other deities like Lord Ganesh and Lord Mahabali as well. Jains celebrate it to remember Lord Mahavira, whereas, in Nepal, Buddhists celebrate it as Swanti.
The Legend Behind Diwali
For different cultures, there are different legends related to the day of Diwali. However, there is a major legend that is defined in all Hindu scriptures. The tale is related to Lord Rama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, Mata Sita, who was Rama’s wife, and the incarnation of Goddess Laxmi.
Rama, with all his brothers and wife Sita, used to live in Ayodhya. Then one day, his father Dashrath called him and asked him to go into exile for 14 years. King Dashrath had to do so because of a promise that he gave his wife, Kaikeyi. This happened because Kaikeyi didn’t want Rama to become the next King of Ayodhya but her own son Bharatha.
Rama didn’t utter a word, and he decided to leave. Along with him, brother Laxman and his wife Sita also went to the forest. A King named Ravana got his encounter with Sita, and he got mesmerized by her appearance. Ravana kidnapped Sita and kept her in Lanka.
At last, Lord Rama, with his army and her dearest devotee Hanuman reached Lanka. They fought with all their powers, and at last, killed Ravana. On their return to Ayodhya, people there lit up the Diyas and decorated the entire town.
Since that day, to celebrate the victory and homecoming of Lord Rama, Diwali is celebrated. The festivity is about to arrive; may this Diwali brings loads of happiness and health to your family. Happy Diwali!