Diwali in Hinduism is also known as the festival of lights.
Diwali is a day that’s marked with the iconic mythological event of Lord Rama returning to Ayodhya with his wife, Sita, and brother Lakshmana, after 14 years of being in exile. According to the Hindu calendar, Diwali is celebrated in the Kartika month (which falls between mid-October to mid-November). The three religions other than Hinduism in which Diwali is celebrated with unparalleled enthusiasm are Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism.
The Legend of Diwali
The legend belongs to Treta Yug. Lord Rama was the rightful heir of Ayodhya city since he was the eldest son of King Dashrath. However, one of the three wives of the King, Kaikayie, asked Dashrath to send Rama in exile and crown her son, Bharat as the King. King Dashrath had to agree since queen kaikayei had saved his life in a battle once. He had promised then that he would fulfill her one wish. Since she had nothing to ask for then, she had said she would ask for a favor in time. So, Rama was sent in exile for 14 years. During his life in the Jungle with his wife and brother, one day, a woman named Shurpanakha visited their home. She fell in love with Lord Rama’s beauty. She asked for his hand, which he politely refused citing he was a married man. Disappointed by the rejection, Shurpnakha tried to attack Devi Sita. In an attempt to save her, her brother-in-law, Lakshmana, cut Shurpnakha’s nose. Shurpnakha was the sister of the demon Ravana, the King of Lanka. As an act of revenge on the behalf of his sister, Ravana abducted Devi Sita. Hence, began the journey of Lord Rama to find and free Devi Sita. He gathered his army and declared a war on Lanka. In the end, Lord Rama killed the Demon Ravana and freed Devi Sita. It was also the end of his 14 years of exile. In the joy of his return, the residents of Ayodhya decorated the entire city with lamps in ghee. Despite it being a New Moon night, the city was still covered in lights. This is where Diwali gets its name, the festival of lights, from.
The celebrations begin many days before the festival. People get their homes freshly painted and decorated with fairy lights. As the day approaches, first comes the festival Dhanteras during which people purchase new utensils, gold, silver coins, and a new idol of Lakshmi-Ganesh. Next comes the day before the main Diwali that is known as Choti Diwali. It is the day during which the entire house and the exteriors are illuminated with Ghee Diyas. During the evening Lakshmi-Ganesh puja is performed. Many bhajans (spiritual songs) and verses are recited in the praise of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha. The next day is the day of Diwali. The main day is popularly known as Badi Diwali in many parts of North India. Special Yagya and pujas are arranged. People burn firecrackers to celebrate the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana
Significance of Diwali
Diwali is associated with the faith that good always wins over evil. It is also believed that the natives who celebrate the 5-day-long parv with full devotion are blessed with fortune and fame.
Diwali Date(s) 2021
Lakshmi Puja Muhurta – 18:08 to 20:04
Pradosh Kaal – 17:29 to 20:07
Vrishabha Kaal – 18:08 to 20:04
Amavasya Tithi Begins- 06:02 (04th November)
Amavasya Tithi Ends- 02:43 (05th November)