Cultural Tours In India
Deepawali – Festival Of Lights ( Wednesday 26th October 2011 )
Deepawali or Diwali is the major Indian occasion which is celebrated whole heartedly in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism. It is also called 'Festival of Lights' as people illuminate candles, diyas on this day and celebrate the victory of good over wicked powers. The day is celebrated in throughout the world, where in nepal it is called Tihar and Swanti. It falls in the months of October or November. Diwali is also originated as the harvest day where it is considered as the last harvest time of the year before the starting of winter season. Businessmen close their accounts and starts their new financial year. Therefore, Goddess Lakshmi, deity of wealth and prosperity in the Hinduism, is thanked and people offer their praying and wish to have a good year ahead.
In North India, the day marks the homecoming of Lord Ram to his kingdom Ayodhya after the 14 years of exile. People of his kingdom celebrated his home return by lightning thousands of diyas, therefore the day has been named as 'Deepavali', which is again shortened as 'Diwali'. In the southern part of the India, the day has been associated with the victory of Lord Krishna and defeat of demon Narakasura. The western people celebrate the day in the honor of the King Bali who has been ordered by the deity Vishnu to rule the nether world.
For the Jainism people, the day has been connoted with the nirvana of Lord Mahavir, which took place on 15th October, 527 B.C. For the Sikh community, the importance of the day has been increased when their Guru Hargobind Ji, the 6th Guru, has been released from the imprisonment with 52 Hindu Kings. Overall, the Diwali calls for the worldwide celebration, with its shimmering beauty it is enjoyed by most of the people, regardless of their faith and culture.
Mythological Events Related to Festival
Home Return of Lord Ram- Deepavali celebrates the home back of Lord Ram to his kingdom Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana after 14 years of exile. The day is also celebrated as the victory of Lord Ram over the devil king Ravana. It is a strong belief that the people of Ayodhya welcomed the Ram, Sita and Lakshmana by illuminating the oil lamps. To reach the Ayodhya in North India, Ram passed through the south India first and then paved towards North India. Therefore the festival has been celebrated one day earlier in the South India.
Narakasura Death- Two days before the Deepavali festival, 'Naraka Chaturdasi' day is celebrated, which is related with the killing of demon Narakasura by the Satyabhama, wife of Lord Krishna. The incident took place in the Dwapar Yuga, where Narakasura had created the fear in the hearts of people due to his evil works. Narakasura death was possible only by his mother, Satyabhama. Lord Krishna pretended to his wife, Satyabhama that Narakasura had injured him therefore, she should killed him. At the time of Narakasura death, he asked for a boon from the Satyabhama, that his death will be celebrated by illuminating lamps.
Asceticism of Shakti- Skanda Purana says that the deity Shakti wanted to get the Lord Shiva's half body so she made an austerity or kedhara vrata for 21 days which got started from the ashtami of shukla paksha. On the day of Diwali, Lord Shiva accepted Shakti into his left body form, known as Ardhanarishvara. The period of kedhara vrata got completed on the day of Diwali. The 21 days have been celebrated by the ardent devotees and they make a kalasha, consisting of the 21 threads around it and then they have 21 offerings for 35 days. The last day is called kedhara gauri vrata.
Diwali is celebrated with full zest and show. People light up their places with diyas, candles and perform Lakshmi-Ganesha puja in evening for seeking divine blessings. People give gifts to their near and dear ones. Gifts can vary from sweets, jewelry, apparels, kitchen appliances, books with lots of love.
Wednesday 26th October 2011
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