Diwali Celebration in India - History, Meaning and Significance

"May the divine light of Diwali drive away all the darkness and bring peace, happiness and prosperity in your life."

This is one of the most common “Happy Diwali” text messages that we love sharing with people in our contact list. The festival of lights is indeed, a celebration like no other. It is celebrated all over the country and is known to bring people together.

Also known as Deepawali, Diwali is one of the grandest Hindu festivals and is celebrated over a period of five days. The word deep means light and the word avali means row. Thus, we see people lighting diyas and other fireworks during Diwali.

Significance of Diwali

The festival of Diwali is believed to be the ultimate victory of good over evil. The lighting of diyas and lamps is seen as the eradication of darkness, as we move towards a bright and hopeful future. It is an auspicious occasion that people love to celebrate with their family and friends.

Nowadays, people love to shop online as they eagerly wait for amazing offers and Grand Diwali Sales. Fireworks, diyas, decorations and sweets are all an integral part of our Diwali celebrations.

Diwali is indeed one of the major Indian festivals that unites people from every part of the country and fills everyone’s hearts with feelings of joy, happiness and compassion.

History and Origin

In ancient India, Diwali was mainly celebrated by farmers as a harvest festival. Since, they would harvest their crops between October and November. the farmers faced a huge threat from insects who destroyed the crops by eating them.

So, the farmers started lighting diyas in order to attract the insects and kill them. This proved to be quite successful as their crops remained safe and they were now able to enjoy the benefits of a good harvest.

Apart from this, the festival of Diwali also holds great importance in Hindu tradition. On this day, Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya with Maa Sita and his brother Laxmana after spending 14 years in exile and defeating the evil King Ravana.

It is said that the people of Ayodhya organized a grand ceremony on the occasion of their triumphant return. The whole kingdom was lit up with bright lamps, diyas and fireworks. Lord Rama was welcomed in grand fashion and this is how the festival of Diwali came into existence.

In some parts of India, the festival of Diwali is celebrated as the victory of Lord Krishna over the wicked demon Narakasura. It is believed that when Narakasura kidnapped more than 16,000 princesses, Lord Krishna defeated him and freed all the princesses.

The Five Days of Diwali

Being a grand festival, Diwali is celebrated over a period of 5 days, where each day is signified by certain rituals and traditions. The first day of Diwali, popularly known as Dhanteras, marks the beginning of Diwali.

On this day, people clean their houses as well as their workplace. Diyas are placed outside the house, doorways are decorated and beautiful rangolis are made. Since, it is considered to be an auspicious day, people also buy new items like clothes, jewellery and furniture.

The second day of Diwali, also known as Choti Diwali, is Naraka Chaturdashi. The celebrations on this day indicate a sense of freedom from all kinds of suffering. A wide variety of sweets are prepared and distributed among relatives and friends.

The third day of the festival is known to be the main day of Diwali. Also known as Lakshmi Pujan, devotees welcome Goddess Lakshmi into their homes. They worship her and ask for her blessings. This is a day of celebration and joy as people burst crackers and meet up with their relatives and close friends.

The fourth day of Diwali is the Govardhan Puja. It is a celebration of that time when Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Mountain on his little finger, to save the cowherd and all the farmers from dangerous floods.

The fifth and final day of Diwali, also known as Bhai Dooj, celebrates the beautiful bond shared by brothers and sisters. This is again a day of celebration and excitement, as brothers meet their sisters and offer them several gifts.

Importance of Diwali

Diwali celebrations have become an integral part of Indian culture. It is celebrated all over the country and is known as the festival that brings people closer together. People also love gifting special items to their loved ones on the ocassion of Diwali.

Houses are illuminated by earthern diyas as well as artificial lights. It is also a time where many people donate clothes and other items to the poor and needy. This symbolizes the true meaning of Diwali, as we try to in need and drive away the darkness from their lives as well.