Diwali or Deepawali meaning ‘Rows of Light’ in Sanskrit is the most significant festival of the Hindu community. Diwali is an extensively celebrated festival in India, which spans over a period of five days. Diwali begins by the end of Aswayuja and ends by the beginning of the Kartik. The festival of diwali reminds people around the world of the true value of life that signifies the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. Diwali is celebrated by lighting diyas, drawing rangolis, lighting fireworks, wearing new clothes, preparing sweets, worshipping cows as personification of Goddess Lakshmi, and performing the religious Lakshmi Puja. The fact that diwali falls on Amvashyaa (moonless night) ascertains the significance of diwali as a celebration of light over darkness.
Diwali 2016 Date
Celebrated for five consecutive days, the first day of Diwali is known as ‘Dhan Teras’ or ‘Dhan Trayodashi.’ On Dhan Teras, Goddess Laxmi is worshipped to provide prosperity. Hence, people purchase some gold or silver or at least a silver utensil. The second day is ‘Choti Diwali’ or ‘Narak Chaturdasi’ which signifies a new era of light and knowledge. On this day, Goddess Shakti or Maha-Kali is worshipped. On the third day, when the sky is moonless, main diwali is celebrated which is also known as ‘Badi Diwali’. On this day, Goddess Laxmi is worshipped who is believed to bless the people with wealth and prosperity.
The fourth day is marked by worshipping Lord Govardhan and is also called Padwa or Varsha Pratipada. The final day of diwali is Bhai Dooj, generally celebrated on the second day of Shukla Paksh to mark the eternal relationship between brothers and sisters. The Diwali festival celebrated all over India has diverse connotations. In North India, Diwali is celebrated in a big fashion with houses and roads being decorated with lights. People exchange gifts and burst fire crackers all night long.
Businessmen close their old account books and open new account books, in order to be more prosperous in the new financial year. In West Bengal, Diwali is celebrated along with Kali Puja. Goddess Kali is worshipped as the Mother Goddess who protects people from all evil. Though the rituals and rites of Diwali vary within the country, nonetheless, the theme or meaning remains the same. Thus, Diwali is a time when family and friends come together to celebrate their togetherness and seek blessings for a prosperous new year.
In 2016, Diwali starts on the Sunday, 30th of October.