Diwali Festival of Lights: A Five-day Extravaganza
Festival of lights, joy, happiness & prosperity Diwali is once again here. Celebrate this festival in a true Indian spirit. Spread the message of peace & brotherhood in the world. Let us melt emotional distances between each other and come close.
Dhan means wealth and Teras means thirteenth day of second half of Ashwin month. The first day of Diwali, Dhanteras signifies value of wealth, and perhaps this is the reason why people buy gold & utensils. The day is also celebrated as birth anniversary of Lord Dhanvantari the physician of Gods. On this day, Dhanvantari was emerged from ocean after arduous churning of ocean by deities and demons. Lord Dhanvantari is worshipped by Hindus because they believe that by offering prayers to him, good health is secured for the entire year. After Samudra Manthan (churning of ocean), Dhanvantari emerged with Shankh, Chakra, Amrit & Jalauka in each of his four hands.
Chhoti Diwali/Narak Chaturdashi
After Dhanteras comes Narak Chaturdashi (Kali Chaudas in Gujarat). On this day, Lord Krishna killed the demon Narkasura; Narak Chaturdashi signifies the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. People wash and clean their houses and symbolically dispose of evils. South Indian states celebrate this day with much excitement; they wake up early and have bath with perfumed oil & water; they dress themselves with new clothes and draw rangoli near the doorstep of their houses. In Gujarat, on this day, people worship Goddess Kali to save themselves from evil spirits.
Laxmi Puja on Diwali
Now here comes Diwali the last day of Hindu calendar. This day is celebrated by a host of activities together. Elderly are busy in Diwali Pooja and worship Goddess Laxmi; by performing this, they seek blessings of Laxmi Goddess of Wealth. Children are overjoyed as they engage themselves in bursting crackers & gorging on sweets and other delicacies. Moreover, its time to enjoy social get-together; people visit their neighbourhood and also pay visit to their relatives. Exchanging Diwali gifts is a common practice on this day. Indians wear new apparels & jewellery and offer prayers in temples. Business community also performs Pooja of their ledgers; on this day, they close their old accounts as this is the last day of year.
Govardhan Puja/New Year
This day marks the beginning of a new year and hence, holds special significance for Indians. People get up before dawn and get ready to welcome the New Year. After completing their daily household chores, they visit temple to seek blessings from God. Then comes social gathering; they visit their neighbours and wish each other Happy New Year. This is accompanied by sweets & snacks; they also exchange Diwali gifts. Children welcome the year by bursting fireworks. Businessmen perform Diwali pooja and open their new ledgers & bill books. In North India, people worship Govardhan hill, which was lifted by Lord Krishna to save people from torrential rains poured by Lord Indra.
Like Raksha Bandhan, this day also celebrates bond between brothers and sisters. On Bhai Dooj or Bhaiya Dooj, sisters invite their brothers to their homes and server him good meal. In return, brother gives Diwali gifts to his sister. With Bhai Dooj, Diwali festival bids farewell and promises more joy, excitement and happiness for next year.
This Diwali 2012, may God shower his choicest blessings on you and bless you with health, happiness and prosperity. May the good prevail and evil be destroyed in this world.
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Jayesh Purohit is an experienced writer & MARCOM professional, who has been writing ad copies and articles for the last 12 years. He recommends his readers to buy Diwali Gifts online which are perfect for friends, family & loved ones from popular online shopping portals only. Infibeam.com is an exciting new online destination for Best Diwali Gift Ideas. His areas of interests are E-commerce, Home & Lifestyle, Indian Festivals, Electronics and more.