There are many festivals around the world and each one has its own significance but Diwali or Deepavali is the brightest festival of all. The reason is due to, glittering clay lamps in the premises of every house and the sparkling crackers in the sky, which brings brightness by removing the darkness around the world. On this auspicious day, if we observer, the night will be brighter with full of lights than the day. That is why Diwali is also called as festival of lights and the word Deepavali mean array of lamps in Sanskrit. It is having different names and various religions follow it on the day of Amavasya according to Hindu calendar. The main theme and euphoria of the festival is accomplishment of good over evil in the world or oneself. It depicts that good will always succeed evil, where good here is indicated with brightness or lights and evil is the damp darkness. In general, damp darkness is the breeding ground for most of the iniquity things and light eliminates those things. From the ancient times where Vedic culture was followed, it is believed that this festival guides everyone to annihilate shadow and find self-illuminated inner light, which is concealed in every person. The social and gender equality is the goal of this festival along with removing evil from oneself.
The festival has different mythological events affiliated with it such as in North India it is celebrated on return of Lord Rama after 14 years exile and destroying evil called Ravan. Whereas in South India it is celebrated on the account of, lord Krishna defeating demon Narakasura. Other than these mythological reasons, it is believed that praying to Goddess Laxshmi gives prosperity for the rest of year. And most of the merchants offer prayer to Goddess Laxshmi and start their new account books on this day. In real Diwali is celebrate for 5 consecutive days in some places of India where the first day is known as Dhanteras followed by Naraka Chadurdashi, Lakshmi Puja, Govardhana Puja and finally Bhai Dooj. Here each day has importance such as Dhanteras is meant for purchasing any new gold or silver items, Bhai Dooj is meant for sister- brother relationship and Lakshmi puja is meant to offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi. However, irrespective of the significance associated with each day all around the world many people celebrate on one day which is Diwali.
What in done on this day?
Similar to other festivals, Diwali is also an occasion to purchase new clothes, lot of sweets, flowers, precious jewelry etc. In addition to all those items, fire crackers are also purchased in huge quantity to brighten the night of Diwali. People start the diwali day by putting new clothes and offering prayers to god for spiritual progression. The tradition of putting Rangoli is also followed by many people, where the diyas are decorated in the evening. And in the evening relatives and friends are given gifts such as dry fruits, gift hampers, sweets and chocolates. Goddess Lakshmi is offered prayer with family and some sweets are consumed in the form of "prashad". Then diya or clay lamps are put in the premises and surroundings. The exact celebrations start when the entire family and friends together burst fire crackers. There is no religious difference on this occasion and everyone is welcomed to join the celebration as Diwali is not just a festival but also a belief to remove evil from this world.
Lets interpret some facts from the Diwali traditions:
All the interpretations are biased and are not real facts but just imagined, there may be different views from other individuals.
If we interpret Rangoli, it tells us many things such as equality and strength of being together. All the different materials used in the Rangoli such as flowers, Rangoli power, colored powder should be considered as people of different caste, sex and cadet etc. Though individually they may look good but if arranged together as done in Rangoli an excellent masterpiece is formed. It tells that all people are equal in the eyes of deity or god and anything should be destroyed with the strength of togetherness.
It is believed that Rangoli brings prosperity if it is designed in the front of entrance of the house. The reason is goodess Laxshmi is treated as Goddess of wealth and to impress her Rangoli is used. There is also another belief in south India that the Rangoli powder used for preparing Rangoli, can serve as food for ants and other small insects, which is consider as good deed. That is why normally cooking flour is used as Rangoli powder, rock salt and flowers are also used in some places in south India for preparing Rangoli.
Diyas or Clay Lamps:
We all know that reason for lighting lamps, which is to overcome darkness and brighten up the world. And the main theme of Deepavali is also to lit self Diyas, but if we interpret further, there is some other message associate with it, which is sincerity and sacrifice. Though any person can do anything for themselves, to sacrifice for others they need lot of guts. The diyas or clay lamp also burns itself to brighten this world for us with sincerity till the oil in it completely drains. So, one should learn that sincerity and little sacrifice are also needed in life.
It is also believed that harmful insects and micro-organism which rise in rainy season are destroyed by the light and heat produced by the diyas.
Gift giving during Diwali:
There is no particular reason for giving gifts and is normally given to show our loved ones how much we care. It is also often given to impress colleagues or boss for improving relationship and status in the company. However, in general if we interpret the gift giving process, it is nothing but sharing our success with some loved one in the form of essential items.
It is believed in Hinduism that if we give something without expecting any favor from it, then in return we will get more in some other way. Gift giving also teaches us terms like sharing and satisfaction, for better living.
Fireworks and Crackers:
The exact reason is to alert all or to show that something has happened, whether it is bad or good reason. But, in general it signifies celebrations in the festival and each firework can be considered as signal of success. In south India, even for deaths fireworks are used by some communities, which show they are just signals for informing some news.
To conclude, any festival is to teach something to this world irrespective of its historical significance. It is the duty of human to know it and pass the message to the future generation. They should know the good and should not exceed the limits, which is often done in case of fireworks and set an example to their next generation.
Have a safe and HAPPY DIWALI.