Deepavali or Diwali is a festival in Hinduism, Sikhism. On the occasion of Deepavali, an official holiday is declared across India. Deepavali is a sanskrit word where Deepa means light and Avali means row. In Deepavali festival, diyas are lighted. Into diyas, cotton string wicks are kept with one end of wick above the surface of diya. Oil is put onto wick and then that end of wick is lighted. Usually, these diyas are kept in mandir , outside main door of a house, in balcony, on terrace.

 

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As per Hindu calendar, Deepavali is a five day festival. Deepavali, festival of lights even today in this modern world, projects rich and glorious past and teaches us to uphold the true values of life. In Hinduism, across many parts of India, it is home coming of Rama after 14 - year exile in the forest and his victory over Ravana. The people of Ayodhya welcomed Rama by lighting rows (avali) and lamps (deepa) thus naming this occasion as Deepavali. Deepavali is celebrated across India with full of hearts and joy but Kerala is the only state in India where Deepavali is not a big celebration.

On the day of Deepavali, many wear new clothes, prepare sweets , pharaal like chakali, chiwda, laddus and share them among people, in  neighbourhood. Diwali marks end of Harvest season in most of India. the deity of Lakshmi symbolizes wealth and prosperity, and her blessings are invoked for a good year ahead. On this day, Lakshmi emerged from Kshir sagar , the Ocean of Milk. As per spiritual references, on this dday, "Lakshmi-panchyatan" enters the universe. Sri Vishnu, Sri Indra, Sri Kuber,  Sri Gajendra and Sri Lakshmi are of "panchyatan" (Group of five).

Sri Vishnu - Happiness, Sri Indra - Satisfaction due to wealth, Sri Kuber - Wealth, Sri Gajendra - Carries the wealth, Sri Lakshmi - divine energy. In maharashtra, Diwali starts from the 12th day of 2nd half of Ashwin. Next day is dhanatrayodshi ( dhana=wealth, tra=13,dashi=10th so, 13th day) or Dhanteras. This day is of very importance especially for traders and business people. Next to next day is of Lakshmi pujan which occurs on Amavasya. The ddark night is luminated by light and crackers are burst. New account books are opened after pooja. People buy properties, gold on these days and for children,  fireworks, new clothes, sweets make deepavali the most eagerly awaited festival of the year.


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