Significance of Diwali

Significance of Diwali: Unmatched 5 day colour carnival

If I take my life 2 weeks ago then I will find myself stuck in snarled-up traffic. The city was stopped but the people were in full swing. This swing was to shop, to decorate, to meet loved ones, to worship, to dress like a flamboyant and to celebrate the festival.  Even more, the city was embellished with vibrant colours and was scented in rose and calendula. In fact, the whole India was looking the same. Do you know why? It is because India was experiencing a month-long festival – Diwali.

By saying a month-long, I actually mean a month-long festival. The reason being is that from the very first day of Durga pooja (26th September 2017) to the end of Diwali (31st October 2017), India remains in a festive mood. Starting with Durga pooja and Dussehra, the atmosphere of Diwali starts. Following Dussehra, the most awaited 5-day long Diwali festival comes. Again as soon as Diwali gets over, chat pooja takes place and finally Badi Gyaras. Therefore, I can say that Diwali is India’s longest and most awaited festival. Indians wait for this festival all the year round and celebrate it with full of excitement and enthusiasm. Let’s see the significance of Diwali.

Significance of Diwali
Diyaas (Small lamps)
Significance of Diwali
Enjoying the view of sparkling firework

Picture perfect significance of Diwali:

Diwali is the biggest and most popular festival of India. The word “Diwali” came from the Sanskrit word Deepawali which means “The row of lamps”. Every year Diwali is celebrated on the day set by the Hindu Lunar calendar. Actually, all the Hindu festivals are set in accordance with Hindu calendar. All of the above, Diwali is popularly known as “the festival of lights” because on this day millions of people across the world flocks to light up lamps and fire-crackers, worship Mahalakshmi and exchange sweets.

Significance of Diwali
Hot sizzling Gulab Jamun…yummy!!

Also, Diwali festival is marked as the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, grace over greed and hope over despair. Therefore, the significance of Diwali is that it assures a never-ending smile on our face. Due to this reason, it is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains (at large). However, over the last few decades, other religions have also understood the importance and have started celebrating it ignoring all the boundaries and differences.

According to ancient Indian stories:

Diwali gets its significance in the time of Ramayana. According to the mythology, the significance of Diwali starts with the celebration of the return of Rama to Ayodhya with Sita and Lakshman from a 14-year Vanvaas (exile). There are few more mythological stories related to Diwali origination. In some parts of the country, it is believed that this is the day when Lord Vishnu married to Mahalakshmi. In Bengal, you will witness the worship of Goddess Kaali. Across the India, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped on this day in order to bring wealth and harmony.

Thus, if you are travelling to India or across India on Diwali occasion then you will witness the diversity of India. So, during the 5 days of Diwali, you can witness some of the most mesmerizing looks of cultures, traditions, rituals, foods or decorative items across the states.

For example, the ghats and temples of Varanasi, Ayodhya, Allahabad and Haridwar are the best. Here you can see a lot of diyas floating in Ganga river and temples are decorated with lights and lamps. Moreover, the golden temple of Amritsar is known for its lighting and the sweets of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal will refresh your mood. Also, the jaw-dropping views of shops of Jaipur city during Diwali will make you fall in love with the city.

Significance of Diwali
Ayodhya city at the night of Diwali: Lighted up with lakhs of DIyas

So now, let’s have at 5-days colour carnival…

Dhanteras:

The first day of 5 days long festival is celebrated as Dhanteras or Dhanwantari Triodasi. As a matter of fact, the word Dhanteras came from Hindu Lord “Dhanwantari”, who on this day, is believed to have come out of the ocean with Ayurveda for the sake of human race. Also, according to the Hindu calendar, Dhanteras is the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha, of the month – Kartika. This Krishna Paksha is considered to be momentous for both the businessmen and for the consumers.

It is believed that if we worship goddess Lakshmi, god Ganesha and Lord Kuber then fortune, luxury and prosperity will come to us. So, we celebrate this day by cleaning houses, renovating them and decorating them with colourful items to welcome them. On this day, we love to purchase things like gold, silver, precious stones, jewels, clothes, idols of god and goddess, utensils, crackers, diyaas (small lamps) etc. Shopping is considered to be an auspicious activity. Also, we also offer prasad, light diya in front of Tulsi tree (the holy Basil tree) and light lamp at the entrance of houses to worship Yam raj (the lord of death) for our safety from evil.

Significance of Diwali
Lighting up diyas at the night of Dhanteras
Significance of Diwali
Amazing fireworks on Dhanteras night: Tried to capture at low shutter speed

Choti Diwali (Naraka Chaturdasi):

Choti Diwali or Naraka Chaturdasi is also known as Kali Chaturdasi or Roop Chaturdasi. Mythologically, there are various stories related to Choti Diwali. The main story is that on this day, Lord Krishna had killed the demon Narakasur and had made the world free from his fear. Another tale revolves around King Bali and Lord Vishnu. The victory of Lord Vishnu over King Bali was the victory of grace over greed. Likewise, some other myths are there. Hence, on this day, women make rangoli outside the houses and light lamps on the verandah and walls. However, we usually don’t light crackers on this day. But, I don’t mind burning them. Haha..

Significance of Diwali
My mother with DIyaas
Significance of Diwali
Fireworks on the night of Choti Diwali: Long exposure shot

Deepawali or Lakshmi Pooja:

Deepawali or Lakshmi Pooja is celebrated on the third day of this long festival. This is the main day of Diwali festival. This is the day when Lord Rama along with Queen Sita and Lakshman had returned to Ayodhya after completing their 14 years of exile and killing the demon Ravana. Hence, people worship the god of deity (Lakshmi goddess), light diyas and candles and light crackers in the air to welcome them. It falls on Amavasya or new moon day. Moreover, on Diwali, India is completely covered with colourful scented garlands. We light up fireworks and sparkle them in the air. So, if you see India from above, you will witness India in vibrant colours.

Significance of Diwali
Garlands of Calendula made by me
Significance of Diwali
Diyas to be kept at the boundary walls of my house
Significance of Diwali
Akhand Jyoti: Diya that lights up all the night

Above all, my day was started with first cleaning myself, decorating the house with garlands of calendula and worshipping Shree Hanuman. In the evening, we worship goddess Mahalakshmi and god Ganesha. Furthermore, I love to love my mother in making rangoli, sweets and lighting lamps in front of my house.

Significance of Diwali
Tracking the track of cracker (rocket) using long exposure shots
Significance of Diwali
Chakri (whirlgig): Cracker made by wrapping the tubes and it rotates while burning
Significance of Diwali
illuminating coned-shaped fireworks (flowerpot): In Hindi it is called Anar
Significance of Diwali
Diwali night was completely illuminated with amazing fireworks
Winter is near, so don’t miss my post on Best beach of Kerala

Govardhan Pooja or Padva:

Normally, Govardhan Pooja is celebrated in some parts of India, mainly North India. On this day, we worship Lord Krishna as it is believed that Lord Krishna lifted up Govardhan mountain on one finger to save people and defeat Indra-dev. Likewise, in some states like Maharashtra and Karnataka, people worship Lord Vishnu (he defeated king Bali). Also, on this day, you can see people worshipping cows (as related to Lord Krishna) and building hillocks of cow dung.

Significance of Diwali
Cows during Govardhan pooja

Bhai dooj:

Bhai dooj is dedicated to brother-sister relations. Other words for Bhai dooj are Bhai Tika and Bhathru Dwithiya. Here, the mythological story revolves around the Lord of death – Yam Raj and his sister Yamuna. He gave his sister a boon that whom-so-ever visit her on this day, he will be liberated from sins. That’s why, on Bhai dooj, sister welcomes her brother with tilak and aarti. Then they exchange sweets.

So, this is the final day of Diwali festival. And hence, the 5-days long fabulous Diwali celebration came to an end.

Significance of Diwali
Enjoying the view of fireworks from the roof of my house

Diwali celebration outside India:

Yes, it is true that Diwali is the main festival of India or it is originated from India but its reach is worldwide. You can easily witness the Diwali celebrations in Nepal, Srilanka, Mauritius, Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore. Interestingly, the day is an official holiday in these countries. May-be due to the fact that Hindu population is more here. However, there are more nations which celebrate Diwali festivals like Trinidad & Tobago, USA, England, Australia, Fiji, Japan and some nations of Africa. This shows how Diwali has gained its importance and how people across the world started believing in harmony Diwali can bring to them.

Diwali in a true sense is the festival of light and diversity. We all people across the world irrespective of boundaries unit and celebrate it with full enthusiasm. Hopefully, I’ve done justice to the festival and more people will celebrate it in coming years. Join me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Share This:

33 comments

  1. ayeshafarhad

    Ooh I always thought diwali was a one day festival! So good to know about other cultures and how they celebrate their festivities!

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks, Ayeshafarhad! Thanks for your comment.

      Reply

  2. colossalumbrella

    I love celebrating Diwali but never bothered about understanding the significance behind it. Thanks for sharing this amazing insight.

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Actually many of us has never thought: why we celebrate Diwali or what is the importance of celebrating Diwali. I hope you enjoy reading it.

      Reply

  3. jajwalyark

    Happy Deepawali! May all the blessings of good and light be with you! Looks like you decked up pretty great on the festive occasion. In my place, it is more to do with familial pujas and long rituals for celebrations! Thanks for letting the wider world know more about our auspicious customs and traditions!

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Happy Diwali to you too, Jajwalyark! Also, as you say familial puja and long rituals of celebrations, I also do the same. But also as a blogger or traveller if you get a chance to travel to Indian destinations during the time of Diwali, you must not miss that.
      Good to know that you like my post. Thanks!!!

      Reply

      1. jajwalyark

        Of course, I have spent almost all my Deepawali(s) back home amongst family.

        Reply

  4. bye:myself

    This is a nice introduction to the Hindu culture – very interesting and informative. I’d love to visit India one day to see what you are describing for myself.

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      You will definitely enjoy the visit to India seeing such cultures!

      Reply

  5. kcgines

    Diwali is celebrated here where I’m from but i never really knew the background of it, it’s such an interesting read.

    Reply

  6. zehravictoria

    I was lucky enough to spend last years Diwali in Mumbai. It was one of the most beautiful festivals I have attended so far! I really love how you describe all the history and significance in detail! Thanks for sharing <3

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Good to hear that you were there in India during Diwali festival. Hope you enjoyed it a lot. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Victoria.

      Reply

  7. apollineadiju

    I am surpised that I have never known its significance. Thank you for the vivid explanation.

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks to you too for showing your interest.

      Reply

  8. Milton Coyne

    this is really amazing.. i think i have heard about Diwali before but I never realized that this is such an amazing event! I have attended some Indian festival here in Philippines including the Holi Festival early this year. It seems like almost all special festivities in India are truly colorful. I love how this festival illuminates the city with dose of colors and lights

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks a lot for showing your interest in Diwali and for sharing your thoughts on it, Milton.

      Reply

  9. Vlad Vaida

    Oh so amazing to find out about different cultures, I’ve never heard of Diwali but it’s lovely 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks Vlad! Thanks for your valuable comment.

      Reply

  10. eliza

    With how you describe Diwali’s details, history, importance including how people commemorate it was truly reflective. I can sense the importance and spirit of the festive in your writing. Great post.

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks a lot, Eliza! Thanks for your kind words. Your comment had made my day.

      Reply

  11. justlovedella

    It looks amazing. Your photos are beautiful

    Reply

  12. Sreekar

    Guess I have been celebrating Diwali all these days without knowing too much about. Thanks for sharing such information. I can tell this to my son too!

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Haha! Now I feel happy. I’m happy that through my blog, you got the essence of Diwali, why we celebrate and the significance of Diwali.
      Thanks, Sreekar.

      Reply

  13. Mike

    Love learning about Diwali it is such a beautiful celebration. I need to go on a trip to India.

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks, Mike for your comment. Trip to India during Diwali festival will show you a different India. You will enjoy it.

      Reply

  14. Jhilmil Bhansali

    Indeed, these 5 days are full of so much festive fervor. Diwali has so much of significance in our lives reflecting positivity and ample joy.

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Very true, Diwali is something for which we always look for. Thanks, Jhilmil, for your valuable comment.

      Reply

  15. Deborah Regen

    Hurray for goodness over evil and lightness over darkness! These themes give way to so many creative interpretations with art, lights, costumes, and food. It would be fun to visit during these festive days.

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Definitely, You will enjoy the visit. Thanks for your comment, Deborah!

      Reply

  16. Travel, Food N Fitness By Sapna

    Nice post..i remember the festival books that we rajasthani have..same way this blog

    Reply

Leave a Reply