Diwali – The Grandest Of All Indian Festivals
Diwali is one of the biggest and grandest festivals celebrated across India and is one of the most important festivals in the Hindu calendar year. This article elaborately explains this festival of lights.
India is a country synonymous with festivals. The huge diversity in traditions, languages and cultures has led it being distinguished as the country that has the most number of festivals celebrated across the globe. Holi, Id, Nagpanchami, Buddh Purnima, Raksha Bandhan, Ganpati Visarjan, Baisakhi, Christmas…the list goes on and on. All of them have their own characteristic charm and appeal but when it comes to grandeur and celebrations, none of them can match that of Diwali.
Diwali, also known as Deepavali is one of India’s grandest festivals and is celebrated between October and December depending upon the Hindu calendar. There are many significant events associated with Diwali such as the killing of Narakasura and the return of the Pandavas but the most popular legend that celebrates Diwali is the return of Rama to Ayodhya after a 14 year exile.
It is a period for rejoicing as schools are shut down a week to 10 days during Diwali while offices too sport a festive mood during this season. Diwali is celebrated over a period of five days beginning with Dhanteras which many Hindus consider to be the most auspicious day for financial undertakings. The following day, Narak Chaturdasi is celebrated which marks the day when the demon Naraka was slayed by Lord Krishna. Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth is worshipped on the third day and this day is known as Amavashya. Kartika and Bhai Dooj correspond to days four and five of Holi.
As earlier stated, Diwali is also known as Deepavali which in Sanskrit translates into a row of lamps. The lamps when lit ward off evil which is the reason why Hindus place lighted diyas at the door of their house on all Diwali days. In olden days, Diwali celebrations were restricted to lightings but nowadays Diwali celebrations minus crackers are almost unheard of.
Sparkles, rockets, phooljhadi, charkha are a few among the bejeweled crackers used during Diwali. Diwali is also a time for sharing and for those with a sweet tooth, this is a season of absolute delight. Pedhas, barfis, chocolates, kaju katris and traditional Hindu snacks become the flavor of the season.
Diwali is also a gifting season and it is almost considered a sinister crime to go to one’s friends or relative’s house empty handed. The best thing about Diwali is that it is a festival of the masses and people of any caste or religion can join in the celebrations. Diwali is thus able to symbolize a communal spirit which is the reason why it has become one of the most popular festivals across the globe.
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