It is mainly celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm throughout the length and breadth of India, the birthplace of Hinduism, however thanks to the large Indian diaspora you can see Diwali celebrations all over the world.
Why is Diwali Celebrated? The festival of Diwali marks the happy return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after fourteen year’s exile. It is to the Hindus what Christmas is to the Christians. It lends charms and delight to our life.
When is Diwali Celebrated? Diwali lasts for five days and it is calculated according to the lunar calendar. It comes off about twenty days after Dussehra and shows the advent of winter. Diwali falls each year in either October or November. In 2018, the diwali celebrations will begin on 6th day of November, 2018 and will continue until 10 day of November, 2018. The main day for Lakshmi and Ganesh puja falls on 7th November, 2018.
What is the meaning of Diwali and Why is this festival called “Festival of light”? Diwali or Deepawali means a row or collection of lamps. Diwali is also known as the festival of light, which reflects the fact that it is a celebration that is focused on all kinds of light combating the darkness – both literally and metaphorically.
How do people decorate and prepare for the “BIG Diwali Day”? A few days before Diwali, houses, buildings, shops and temples are thoroughly cleaned, white-washed and decorated with pictures, toys and flowers. They look as beautiful as a newly, wedded girl. Beautiful pictures are hung on the walls and everything is tip-top. On the Diwali day, people put on rich clothes and move about in a holiday mood. People exchange greetings and gifts or sweets on this day.
At night, buildings are illuminated with earthen lamps, candle-sticks and electric bulbs. The city presents a bright and colourful sight. Sweets and toy shops are tastefully decorated to attract the passers-by. The bazaars and streets are overcrowded. People buy sweets for their own families and also send them as presents to their friends and relatives. Children explode crackers.
How do people worship during Diwali? At night, Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, is worshiped in the form of earthen images and silver rupee. People believe that on this day, Hindu Goddess Laxmi enters only those houses which are neat and tidy. People offer prayers for their own health, wealth and prosperity. They let the light on so that Goddess Laxmi may find no difficulty in finding her way in and smile upon them.
How to celebrate happy and safe Diwali? Diwali is a big occasion for celebration and we should always play it safe. Fire crackers and fire works are a big part of Diwali celebrations. People enjoy to celebrate the Festival of Light by lighting up the sky in various colors. But, these crackers are not without disadvantages. Using fire crackers causes lots of noise and air-pollution. Some crackers are loud enough to disturb human-beings. And it can stressing to the pets as well. Take it upon you as a social responsibility to celebrate a peaceful Diwali without fire crackers in a noiseless manner. Here are few alternative ways to celebrate Diwali.
- Placing lanterns in the garden: Colored lanterns look so magical and you can also wind a string of lights around a tree for a beautiful effect.
- Using soundless and eco-friendly: These days, it is possible to purchase soundless and eco-friendly lights that give you all of the light and color but none of the boom.
- Donate: The amount you would have otherwise invested in buying firecrackers can be instead donated for a good cause among the poor and the needy.
- Make, eat and distribute sweets: Spend more time in enjoying the other traditions of this festival like savoring the food delicacies.
- Businessmen open new accounts on this day.
Significance and Conclusion: During Diwali celebrations, the beautiful lights fighting against the darkness of the night represents the way in which wisdom will always triumph over ignorance and good will always triumph over evil. As a result, Diwali festivities encourage us to banish all evil and ignorance from our lives. On the whole, this festival is an occasion for joy, thrill and excitement.
Updated with inputs from various contributors.