When you take all the festivals that are celebrated in India and also by Indians around the world, the Festival of Lights: Diwali or Deepawali or Dipawali , is celebrated the most. Why is that so?

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Diwali Celebrations

History shares a lot of legendary stories about Diwali and it is necessary what mythology has got to tell us. Diwali outshines all India festivals and is one that shows that the country believes in unity in diversity. Across geographical barriers and cultural differences, during the five day festival of Diwali- people are one and look forward to celebrating with family, and friends. 

Connected Reads: Why is the Diya given so much importance during Diwali ?

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Women make rangoli

Important Facts about Diwali that you should know!

  • Diwali is actually a five day festival.
  • It begins with Dhanteras and the last day is called as Bhai Dooj. 
  • Though all days are celebrated with equal intensity, there are specific legends behind each day. You can get to know more about them here!
  • The festival spreads the message of happiness, and shooing away evil forces from our lives. The evil is brushed away from households by spreading the light of the diya. Diya or the traditional earthen lamp does holds a very important place in Diwali.

Connected Reads: How is Diwali celebrated in foreign countries?

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Dhanteras gold shopping

The Difference between Diwali in North India and Diwali in South India

For Diwali 2018, in South India, it will be celebrated on November 6th,, 2018

Whereas, Diwali in North India, it will be celebrated on November 7th, 2018.

Why so?

Deepawali is known by other name in South India and that is Naraka Chaturdasi. This tithi or day falls one day prior to the North Indian Diwali and that is why South India celebrates a day earlier than North India,

But rarely, if the same tithi overlaps in the Hindu Calendar, then Diwali or Deepawali will be celebrated all over India on the same day.

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Read on to understand why these five days make Diwali extra special for all Hindu devotees!

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Dhanteras Shopping: Utensils

Day 1 of Diwali: Dhanteras

Dhanteras is religiously better known as Dhantrayodashi and is the first day of the Diwali festival. The day is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and also Lord Kubera (God of Wealth). This day is when the Lord Dhanwantari came out onto Earth from the ocean. He gifted the world with Ayurveda so that people could be healthy and free from illness. On this day, people spend money in buying precious stones, gold, utensils and expensive ornaments. People pray to the Gods for weatlh and good health on this day.

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woman performs puja

Day 2 of Diwali: Chhoti Diwali

Dhanteras is followed by Chhoti Diwali. In many parts of India, it is also called as Kali Chaudas or the Narak Chaturdasi. This day is celebrated one day before the real Diwali. Mythology says that Lord Krishna put an end to the demon Narakasur and made the world free from fear. So, then the world came to rest with peace. So, devotees spend the second day of Diwali by relaxing, massaging the body with medicinal oils. This day is meant to spent in quietness and not by lighting diyas and crackers.

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.Diwali crackers

Day 3 of Diwali: Diwali/ Deepawali and Lakshmi Pooja on Diwali

The most grandest day of all is the third day is Diwali. On this day,  Lakshmi Puja is performed to worship Goddess Lakshmi- The Goddess of Wealth. People prepare and clean the house, and perform pujas to please Lakshmi Devi. People go to temples, gurdwaras, light diyas, pray, make special dishes and exchange gifts with loved ones. 

With regard to business, shopkeepers and other businessmen perform a ‘Chopda Pujan’ wherein all new account books are bought, and blessed by a pandit or priest before being used. Diwali is considered an auspicious time to start any new thing in life.

Connected Reads: Why Diwali Shopping is much awaited by all? Learn now!

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Govardhan Puja

Day 4 of Diwali: Govardhan Puja or Padva or Bestu Varas

Now the fourth day is named as Govardhan Puja and is celebrated in many parts of India. This is believed to be the day when Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Mountain and defeated Indra, This was done to protect people of Gokul from the wrath of Lord Indra. In some states, it is celebrated as  Bestu Varas, and Padwa. People light diya, and visit friends and family on this day. 

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Bhai Dooj

Day 5 of Diwali: Bhai Dooj

The last day named the Bhai Dooj brings the Diwali festival to an end. A day dedicated for brothers and sisters. As per the rituals, the sister applies a teekha on the brother's forehead. The teekha is made of vermilion and rice flour. Then an arti or prayer is performed by the sister – for the good health of the brother. After the entire puja, sweets are distributed. 

Thus the five days of glorious celebrations end. In the midst of such extravagant celebrations, what can be noticed is that Diwali is a time where caste and creed play no role. People share, love, greet, pray together with no bias whatsoever. Let this Diwali also be enjoyed in the same loving manner.