Diwali Festival Celebrations
Diwali is an important festival for Hindus around the world. It is also celebrated by Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom, Ayodhya, after an exile period of 14 years. People of Ayodhya lit the city brightly and welcomed Rama, Lakshman and Sita by firing crackers.
Diwali festival is also believed to be the symbol of Goddess Lakshmi coming home. Thus people celebrate by lighting many clay lamps called ‘diyas’ around their homes. This signifies the victory of good over evil and that is why Diwali is also known as the festival of lights. People worship Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha on this day as they are believed to bring good luck, prosperity and wealth.
Significance and Importance of 5 Days of Diwali
Diwali celebrations go on for five days and each day has its significance.
Diwali begins with the first day known as ‘Dhanteras’ or the worship of wealth. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on this day and there is a custom to purchase something precious. People clean and decorate their homes.
Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali :
The second day is Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali. People wake up early and apply aromatic oils on them before taking a bath. This is said to remove all sins and impurities. They wear new clothes, offer Puja and enjoy by lighting diyas and bursting few crackers.
Lakshmi Puja :
The third day is the main Diwali festival. Lakshmi Puja is performed on this day. Goddess Lakshmi is believed to enter homes and bless people with good fortune. Tiny oil diyas, candles and electric lights are placed around the house. Families exchange gifts and gather together to burst crackers.
Govardhan Puja or Padva :
The fourth day is Govardhan Puja or Padva. It is the day when Lord Krishna defeated Indra by lifting the huge Govardhan Mountain. People make a small hillock, usually of cow dung, symbolising Govardhan and worship it.
Bhai Dooj :
The fifth and last day is Bhai Dooj. On this day sisters invite their brothers for a lavish meal and perform a ‘tilak’ ceremony. Sisters pray for their brother’s long and happy life while the brothers give gifts to their sisters.
People display fireworks during Diwali but it should be kept in mind as to not create noise and air pollution which can harm the environment.