Bishwa Nath Singh :
There are few friends of mine from abroad who have requested me to let them know the significance of Diwali and something more about Lord Ganesh & Goddess Laxmi whom we worship on the eve of Diwali .Keeping their inquisitiveness in mind, I would like to deal them one by one so that they could understand our rituals well.
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Bishwa Nath Singh :
Diwali or Deepawali or Dipawali is one the most important, hugely waited and immensely cherished festival celebrated across India and in parts of Nepal. Originally, the name was Deepawali, which has its origin from Sanskrit, meaning “rows o...f Deep”.Over the years the name has been pronounced as Diwali, especially in Hindi, whereas it still remains Dipawali in Nepali. Diwali also popularly known as “Festival of Lights” is celebrated with great gusto and is observed as an official holiday across in India.The festival of Diwali is not only significant to Hindus, but, has importance in Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. For Hindus, it is associated with the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya, after his 14 years of exile and victory over the demon Ravana.On that day, he was welcomed to the kingdom to Ayodhya with rows of Deep, lightened throughout the kingdom.Thus, there is a tradition of lighting oil lamps that symbolize the victory of good over evil and freedom from spiritual Hindus, also make preparations to welcome goddess Lakshmi by drawing rangoli, and footsteps (Paduka) On the entrance that would allure goddess Laksmi to visit one’s home and bring prosperity along with her.There are numerous customs and traditions associated with Diwali, namely, burning of crackers, playing cards, lightning of lamps, wearing new clothes, distribution of sweets, exchange of gifts etc.One must take care that burning of crackers are noise free to avoid noise pollution.Diwali celebrations spread across five days, with each day having its own significance and set of rituals.The first day is called “Dhanteras”, on which new utensils and silver ware is brought to the house. The second day is called “Chhoti Diwali”, which normally involves preparation for the next day and the tradition of playing cards is observed in many families.The next day, or third day is the “Badi Diwali”, which involves the worshiping of mother Lakshmi.The fourth day is the Govardhan Puja and finally the five days end with Bhai Dooj.he festival of Diwali is truly a “Festival of Lights”, as it not only involves lighting of Lamps but, it brings the light of happiness, togetherness, spiritual enlightment and prosperity for everyone.With the sounds of crackers killing all bad-omens, the lighted lamps-lighting the lives of people, the prayers and pujas creating an atmosphere full of goodness and purity, the festival of Diwali indeed fills the atmosphere with an aura of goodness and a heaven like atmosphere.As per the Hindu calendar, the festival of Diwali is celebrated on the new moon day that marks the end of Ashwin and beginning of Kartik month. In 2010, it falls today i.e on the 5th of November this year.