The vibrant and colorful festival of Holi is really close and the preparations and celebrations are already at its high pace. With the increased craze and unity of diverse cultures, this festival is not only popular among Hindus but also among non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as in parts of Europe and North America.
Celebrations, however, start with a Holika Pujan on the night before Holi where people gather, sing and dance. This puja is a very significant part of the whole festival. Although it is usually associated with the bon-fire or Holika Dahan in the late pre-evening of Holi, it starts way before.
Focusing at the scientific importance of Holika Dahan, it is vital for cleansing the bacteria and germs generated in the mutation period of winter and spring. The high temperature while burning the woods i.e. almost 145 degrees Fahrenheit removes the harmful germs and bacteria from the atmosphere and also from our bodies when we revolve around it. It is the period when people feel lethargic and drowsy. Holi provides them the opportunity to wear off their laziness, by enjoying themselves thoroughly.
On this occasion, burning the Holika signifies an end to all the evil thoughts and getting rid of all the sins. Thus, at this time, if you ask for any good things while mother Holika is burning then they will come true. Various Indian cultures even consider it to be integral in the form of long-life of the husband and a prosperous married life. Not only this, the left over ashes from the dahan if collected by people on the next day constitutes of the actual holi-prasad and smearing it on limbs of the body purifies and heals them.
Thus apart from colors and fun filled-frolic celebrations, Holi and its traditions hold lot more for us.
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’.
To cherish the celebration of attaining good over evil and revering this special day, organize the Diwali puja at your home and book your puja package now: http://shubhpuja.com/Diwali-puja-organise-id-348501.html