History and Importance of Diwali in India

India is known as the ‘land of festivals’. And all festivals, has its own importance behind its celebration. And Diwali – the festival of light doesn’t live behind. Whole India celebrates the Diwali Festival with lots of enthusiasm, joy and fun. But the celebration differs in most parts of India according to the traditions and culture of that state but the importance and enthusiasm behind this celebration remains tact.

History of Diwali: The festival of Diwali signifies the unity in miscellany in its own special and unique way. The origin of the Diwali festival comes from the history. And the Diwali festival is celebrated mainly for four days initiates on Aswayuja Bahula Chaturdasi and ends on Kartika Shudda Vijiya. And each of them has its unique importance and history. First Day known as Naraka Chaturdasi marks the killing of the demon king Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama.

Second Day known as Amavasya and according to the legends Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth, was incarnated on the new moon day of the Kartik month.

Third day is known as “Kartika Shudda Padyami.” On this day Bali would come out of Pathala Loka and rule Bhuloka as per the boon given by Lord Vishnu. Hence, it is also known as “Bali Padyami”.

Fourth Day: known as “Yama Dvitiya.” On this day, sisters invite their brothers to their homes. Whereas according to legends it is also said that Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile.

About Diwali Puja: The festival of Diwali is not just about worship of Goddess Lakshmi, firecrackers and sharing sweets and gifts. But the traditional way of celebrating Diwali includes decorating your homes and offices with innovative crafts. The people love to prepare various crafts on the auspicious occasion of Diwali as the spirit of this festival encourages them to express their creativity.

Decorating the Diwali Puja Thali is one such beautiful idea, which adds some more spiritualism to the festival of Diwali. Diwali has many legends and religious accounts to it. Lights and diyas are lit to signify the driving away of darkness and ignorance, as well as the awakening of the light within ourselves. Diwali is a time for family gatherings, food, celebrations, exchange of gifts and Pooja. The goddess Laxmi plays a major role in this festival, as do Ram and Sita. This autumn festival is celebrated for five continuous days, of which each one has its own significance.

Puja Thali: Puja thali has a special significance for the festival of Diwali in which the worship of Goddess Lakshmi is the main theme. Puja thali is the plate in which all those accessories are kept that is required to perform the worship or the Puja of the God and Goddess such as the Roli for tilak, Akshat, Ghanti (bell), a small Kalash filled with water, Kalava to tie around the wrist, gold or silver coins, Aarti-diya and some colorful flowers.

Puja Accessories: The Puja accessories required for worship on Diwali includes the following items: Roli for tilak, Akshat (the rice grains), Ghanti (bell), a small Kalash filled with water, Kalava or mauli to tie around the wrist, Aarti-diya, dhoop, agarbatti, camphor, coconut, betel, betel leaves, sandalwood paste, candles, flowers, seasonal fruits and sweetmeats as prasad and silver or gold coins having image of Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha, Om, Swastika.

Diwali Rangolis: Rangolis are one of the oldest and most beautiful art forms of India. Rangolis are patterns or motifs, usually depicting Nature, drawn on the floor or a wall with powdered color made out of natural vegetable dyes. The term Rangoli is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘rang’ which means color, and ‘aavalli’ which means rows or creepers. So a Rangoli is basically a row of color, weaved into a pattern of sorts.

According to the Chitralakshana, the earliest Indian treatise on painting, when the son of a King’s high priest died, the king was most distressed. Brahma, lord of the universe decided to help the king and asked him to paint a likeness of the boy on the wall so that Brahma could breathe life into him again. That was believed to be the first Rangoli. Another legend has it that God, in one of his creative moods, extracted the juice of a mango and painted with it the figure of a woman so beautiful that the painting put all the maidens in heaven at shame!

Wishing you all Happy Diwali and a Happy New Year!!

Source by Rahul D.

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