What is meaning of Diwali/Deepavali?
Diwali celebrations goes on for five days and each day has its significance and very importants.
1st Day of Deepawali Dhanteras or KAAG TIHAR – WORSHIP FOR CROWS
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. The first day of the festival is called Kaag Tihar. Crows and ravens are worshiped by offering them sweets and dishes, which are placed on the roofs of houses. The cawing of crows and ravens symbolizes sadness and grief in Hinduism, so devotees offer crows and ravens food to avert grief and death in their homes. Tihar, among Gorkhas, represents the divine attachment between humans and other animals .
The Second Day of Deepawali -Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali or Worship for Dog
The second day of Diwali is Naraka Chaturdasi. On this day Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura and liberated the 16,000 princesses the demon held captive. 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.
The second day is called Kukur Tihar (worship of the dogs). It is also called the Khicha Puja by the Newars. Dogs, which are believed to be messengers of Lord Yamaraj, the God of Death, are worshiped each year on this day. People offer garlands, Tika and delicious food to dogs and acknowledge the cherished relationship between humans and dogs. This festival has garnered a lot of attention from western countries people for the love and respect that Nepali show to their dog on this day.
The Defeat of Narkasur by Lord Krishna: Lord Vishnu in his 8th incarnation as Krishna destroyed the demon Narkasura, who was causing great unhappiness among the people of the world. Narkasura was believed to be a demon of filth, covered in dirt. He used to kidnap beautiful young women and force them to live with him. Eventually, their cries for rescue were heard by Vishnu, who came in the form of Krishna. First, Krishna had to fight with a five-headed monster who guarded the demon’s home. Narkasura hoped that his death might bring joy to others. Krishna granted his request and the women were freed. For Hindus, this story is a reminder that good can still come out of evil.
The Third Day – Actual Diwali Lakshmi Puja : WORSHIP FOR COWS AND GODDESS LAXMI
This is the actual day of Diwali, commonly known as the Hindu New Year. The faithful cleanse themselves and join with their families and priests to worship the goddess Lakshmi, consort of Lord Vishnu, to receive blessings of wealth, prosperity, triumph of good over evil, light over darkness. This is also the day Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya, having successfully rescued Sita and defeated the demon Ravana. (See “Origins of Diwali” below.)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.
This day is the most important of all and is called Laxmi Puja. On this day, people worship cows. In Hinduism, a cow signifies prosperity and wealth. In ancient times, people benefited a lot from cows. Thus, on this day people show their gratefulness to cows by garlanding and feeding their cows with the best grass. Houses are cleaned and the doorways and windows are decorated with garlands made of Sayapatri (marigolds) and Makhamali flowers (chrysanthemums).
In the evening, Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of wealth is thanked for all the benefits that were bestowed on the families by lighting oil lamps (Diyo) or candles on doorways and windows to welcome prosperity and well being. At night, the girls enjoy dancing and visiting all the houses of the neighborhood with musical instruments singing and dancing known as Bhaili all night long collecting money as tip from houses and share the bounty amongst themselves.
History/story of Deepawali
Deepawali is called the Festival of Lights and is celebrated to honor Rama-chandra, the seventh avatar (incarnation of the God Vishnu). It is believed that on this day Rama returned to his parents after 14 years of exile during which he fought and won a battle against the demons and the demon king, Ravana. People lit their houses to celebrate his victory over evil (light over darkness). After this victory of Good over Evil, Rama returned to Ayodhya. In Ayodhya, the people welcomed them by lighting rows of clay lamps. So, it is an occasion in honor of Rama’s victory over Ravana; of Truth’s victory over Evil.The goddess of happiness and good fortune, Lakshmi, also figures into the celebration. It is believed that she roams the Earth on this day and enters the house that is pure, clean, and bright.
The Fourth Day of Diwali- Govardhan Puja or Padva, WORSHIP FOR OXEN
On this day, Govardhana Puja is performed, a spiritual harvest festival. Thousands of years ago, Lord Krishna caused the people of Vrindavan to perform Govardhana Puja. For details, Krishna and The Mountain: In the village of Gokula, many years ago, the people prayed to the God Indra. They believed that Indra sent the rains, which made their crops, grow. But Krishna came along and persuaded the people to worship the mountain Govardhan, because the mountain and the land around it were fertile. This did not please Indra. He sent thunder and torrential rain down on the village. The people cried to Krishna to help. Krishna saved the villagers by lifting the top of the mountain with his finger. The offering of food to God on this day of Diwali is a reminder to Hindus of the importance of food and it is a time for being thankful to God for the bounty of nature.
Bali Maharaja was defeated on this day by Lord Krishna’s dwarf brahmana incarnation, Vamanadeva.
This 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 worship it.
On the fourth day of Tihar, there are three different known pujas, depending on the people’s specific cultural background. It is observed as Goru Tihar or Goru Puja (worship of the oxen). People who follow Vaishnavism perform Govardhan Puja, which is worship towards Goverdhan mountain. Cowdung is taken as representative of the mountain and is worshiped. Additionally, majority of the Newar community on the night also perform “Mha/ Ma Puja” (worship of self).
From this day onwards, Tihar is celebrated with Deusi. Deusi is mostly sung by the boys while the Bhailo is sung by the girls. Deusi is balladic in nature and tells the story of the festival, with one person in the group narrating and the rest as the chorus. In return, the house owners give them money, fruits and Selroti. Nowadays, social workers and politician along with young people visit local homes and sing these songs, and collect funds for welfare and social activities.
The Fifth Day of Diwali- Bhai Dooj or BHAI TIKA, WORSHIP FOR BROTHERS & SISTERS
The fifth day of the Diwali is called Bhratri Dooj, dedicated to sisters. We have heard about Raksha Bandhan, brothers day. Well this is sisters day. Many moons ago in the Vedic era, Yamaraja, the Lord of Death, visited His sister Yamuna on this day. He gave Yamuna a boon that whoever visits her on this day shall be liberated from all sins; they will achieve moksha, liberation. From then on, brothers visit their sisters on this day to ask about their welfare, and many faithful bathe in the holy waters of the Yamuna River.
The fifth and last day of Tihar is called Bai Teeka and is observed by sisters applying teeka to the foreheads of their brothers to ensure long life and thanking them for the protection they provide.
This day is also known as Bhai Fota among Bengalis, when the sister prays for her brother’s safety, success and well-being.
This day marks the end of the five days of Diwali celebrations.
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.
The first day of Diwali is called Dhanwantari Trayodasi also called Dhan Theras.This day worship for crows. The second day of Diwali is called Narak Chaturdasi. It is the fourteenth lunar day (thithi) of the dark fourteenthnight of the month of Kartik and the eve of Diwali. On this day Lord Krishna destroyed the demon Narakasur and made the world free from fear. The third day of Diwali is the actual Diwali. This is the day when worship for Mother Lakshmi is performed. On the fourth day of Diwali, Goverdhan Pooja is performed. The fifth day of the Diwali is called Bhratri Dooj or Bhai teeka. It is a day dedicated to sisters for their brothers. Diwali also known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the most popular Hindu festivals.
What Do People Do In Deepawali ?
Millions of Hindus around the world celebrate Diwali with gift exchanges, fireworks and festive meals. The Diwali celebration in India takes place when the monsoon season ends and the weather is mild and pleasant. People try to pay off their old debts, make or buy new clothes and thoroughly clean their houses as part of the festival preparations. House exteriors are whitewashed and sometimes decorated with designs drawn in white rice flour and filled in with color. Buildings are traditionally illuminated with oil-burning bowls called dipa lights, or more recently, with strings of artificial lights. People spend time with their friends and family.
On the first day of the festival people pray, eat a special breakfast consisting of different foods, and the Hindu goddess Lakshmi’s statue is carried throughout the streets in procession. Children are sometimes given candy or toys from booths set up for the occasion. In southern India children wear flower wreaths on their heads or anklets of bells. Boys in some areas construct elaborate castles and forts of mud and display them for visiting guests. After dark there are fireworks and people who live near rivers float lighted lamps on tiny rafts. To add to the festival of Diwali, melas (fairs) are held throughout India and Nepal. These are found in many towns and villages also.
Diwali is a Public holiday in India and Nepal, so government offices and many businesses (including local offices and shops) are closed. It is not a nationwide public holiday in countries such as Korea, Japan, UAE, Australia, Canada, Unite
The Deepawali festival in southern India and Nepal often commemorates the conquering of the Asura Naraka, a powerful king of Assam, who imprisoned thousands of inhabitants. It was Krishna, a deity worshipped in Hinduism, who was finally able to subdue Naraka and free the prisoners. Diwali celebrations may vary in different communities but its significance and spiritual meaning is generally “the awareness of the inner light”. It is also the beginning of the new financial year for the business community.
Lamps, fireworks and bonfires illuminate this holiday, as the word “Deepawali” means “a row or cluster of lights” or “rows of diyas (clay lamps)”. The festival symbolizes the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. During Diwali, or Deepawali, the Goddess Lakshmi, who symbolizes wealth, happiness and prosperity, is also worshipped.
It is believed that Yamraj, the God of Death, visited his sister, Goddess Yamuna, on this day during which she applied the auspicious tika on his forehead, garlanded him and fed him special dishes. Together, they ate sweets, talked and enjoyed themselves to their hearts’ content. Upon parting, Yamraj gave Yamuna a special gift as a token of his affection and, in return, Yamuna gave him a lovely gift which she had made with her own hands. That day Yamraj announced that anyone who receives tilak from his sister will never die on that day.
Note: It is not possible to mention every activity that takes place on this occasion as celebrations vary in different regions. However, this article provides a general overview of the main celebrations that usually occur during this event. Moreover, the date in which Diwali is celebrated may vary depending on locations and calendar interpretations. The source of matter from Hindu mythology.
Happy Diwali/Deepavali 2018 to All.
When is Diwali in 2018?
Yamapanchak Aarambha (Crows-Kaag Tihar): November 5, 2018 Monday
Narak Chaturdashi (Dog-Kukur Tihar) : November 6, 2018 Tuesday
Laxmi Pooja /Diwali/Deepavali : November 7, 2018 Wednesday
Gobardhan Pooja (Cow- Gai Tihar : NOVEMBER 8, 2018 Thursday