The auspicious festival of light, Diwali means the ‘row of lighted lamps’ which symbolise the journey from darkness to light. The festival is a message to illuminate our inner true selves and cherish our illuminated soul in the eternal Universe (Brahman). Let us explore few of the interesting facts about this bright festival.
- The main festive day of Diwali in the five day celebration marks the beginning of Hindu New Year according to the Vikrama calendar.
- The craze for this festival is not only evident among Indians but also foreigners around the globe. Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji have an official day off on Diwali.
- The Lord of Death, Yama is revered on this day by lighting a diya, to welcome the dead spirits back to their family.
- In Southern India, especially Goa and Konkan, people burn the effigies of Narakasura on the next day of Diwali. Naraksura, the demon was killed by Lord Krishna and 16,000 women were rescued from his captivity.
- The 12 years of banishment of the Pandavas ended on this day and they appeared on the Kartik Amavasya.
- Great Hindu King Vikramaditya was coroneted on this day, hence Diwali became a historical event.
- Lord Mahavira attained nirvana on Diwali day at Pavapuri thus highly celebrated by Jain community.
- Maharshi Dayananda, the founder of Arya Samaj attained his nirvana on this day and Shardiya Nav-Shasyeshti is celebrated every year from then.
- Bandi Chhorh Divas is celebrated by Sikhs on this day as the foundation stone for Golden Temple was laid in 1577. In 1619, Sixth Guru Shri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji was freed from imprisonment of Emperor Jahangir from Gwalior fort, on the same day of Diwali.
- On this day Lord Vishnu rescued Goddess Lakshmi (and married her) from the prison of Demon king Bali and therefore Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on Diwali.
- The day is celebrated with Gambling as a way of ensuring good luck for the coming year and also to remember the games of dice between Lord Shiva and Parvati Ji.
- To welcome the Goddess of wealth, the entire house is purified and cleaned, and lighted with earthen lamps to brighten her way to our homes.
- This day marks the commencement of new Fiscal Year for Hindu Shop owners and Businessman so they usually begin their new records from then.
- Burning of crackers are the symbol of celebration after achieving enlightenment and the fumes released are beneficial for removing the insects and flies.
- ‘Shubh Deepavali’ is the ethnic and traditional greeting for Deepawali, meaning ‘Have an auspiscious Deepavali’.
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