Diwali which is also known as Deepavali is the most famous and widely celebrated festival in India. It is celebrated not just in India but also across the world. It is a festival of light that brings joy, happiness, excitement, etc. into the lives of people. The festival is also celebrated by people of other religions such as Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, etc.
According to the Hindu calendar, it falls in the month of Karthika which starts in mid-October and lasts till mid-November. The festival is associated with Goddess Lakshmi who is considered the goddess of wealth and Lord Ganesha, the goddess of wisdom, and Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge.
Date, Diwali 2022
Monday, 24th October
The celebration of Diwali dates back to the times of ancient Indian history. According to Ramayana, it was on the day of Diwali that Lord Rama came back to Ayodhya after completing his 14 years of exile. The people of Ayodhya celebrated his return by lighting diyas, earthen lamps, and decorating the entire city.
Another story that is related to the celebration of Diwali has been depicted in Mahabharata. After defeating the Kauravas, the Pandavas returned to Hastinapur and they were welcomed by the people in a celebratory and joyous procession. The common people illuminated their houses and the city with their lamps.
Also check our article: 10 best ways to celebrate Diwali
Reason for Celebration of Diwali
Most people celebrate Diwali today to mark the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya. The festival represents the happiness and the love of people for their beloved God, Shri Ram. It is also believed that on this day, Lakshmi who is the goddess of wealth pays a visit to everybody’s house. Therefore, people decorate their houses to welcome and seek her blessings.
Diwali is the Festival of light, joy, and happiness. It represents the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and the removal of negativity, and hatred from our life. On this day, people forget all kinds of enmity and previous quarrels and begin a new journey. The festival of Diwali also brings out the love of people for Lord Ram, Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswati, and Lord Ganesh. Diwali festival binds people together and spreads joy and happiness into the lives of everyone.
How do people celebrate Diwali?
On the day of Diwali, people light dias at each and every corner of their house and they also put on LED lights on their balconies and outside the houses. The preparation for Diwali begins many days prior to the actual date. People start cleaning their houses, getting their walls painted, planning for gifts, etc.
Diwali is celebrated differently in different parts of India as the people in the north of India burst crackers, exchange gifts, etc., people in the South celebrate this day as a homecoming of their ancient king, Mahabali. They decorate their houses with flowers and cow dung in the hospitality of their king.
In regions such as Bengal and other eastern parts of India, people also worship Goddess Kali on this particular day. In many places such as Maharashtra, people worship the cows to celebrate this day. However, almost in all parts of India, a few things such as organizing fairs, putting on lights, distributing sweets, preparing special dishes, and wearing new clothes, remain a common tradition.
Best places to visit during Diwali
Most people love to stay at their house during the Diwali celebration as it is believed that who is the best place to be on this particular De. However, there are various places in India that one can visit to experience the unique and memorable celebration style of Diwali. Here is the list of a few places that you can consider visiting at the time of Diwali:
It is one of the most sacred places in India and the celebration of Diwali on the banks of the river Ganga is something that catches the attention of most of the people who visit this place at the time of Diwali. People burst crackers, light diyas, witness the magnificent Ganga Aarti and become part of various professions in and around the river. The local markets near river Ganga sell everything from traditional clothes to sweets and various other kinds of artifacts. In the evening, religious chanting also takes place beside the river Ganga which completely refreshes the mind and the soul.
This is the birthplace of Lord Shri Ram and after defeating Ravana, it was at this very place that Lord Ram returned. The people of Ayodhya celebrated his return with love, joy, and decorations. Since then, every year people of Ayodhya celebrate Diwali with great pomp and show. People from various parts of India come here and light dias at the banks of the Sarayu river. The festival is celebrated for four days and the beauty of this city treats the eyes during these days.
Most people know Amritsar because of the existence of the Golden Temple but the city is also famous for the unique celebration of Diwali. The celebration of Diwali at Amritsar is quite grand and unique because the foundation stone of the Golden Temple was also laid in 1577. The show of fireworks on Golden Temple is a magnificent view to watch and moreover, it is decorated with various lights, Dias, candles, etc. Diwali is celebrated at Amritsar along with Bandi Chhor Divas which is a festival to commemorate the return of Guru Hargobind, the 6th Guru after completing his imprisonment. The weather is cool and beautiful and you must try the local dishes of Amritsar during Diwali.
At the time of Diwali, Udaipur becomes one of the most happening and beautiful places across India. Each and every house of Udaipur is decorated with lights and one must visit Pichola Lake to witness the magnificent fireworks whose reflection can be seen in the water of the lake. During the night, the sky of Udaipur gets decorated with floating lamps in the sky. There are various stage performances, food stalls, and other kinds of events organized at the time of this festival.
People here decorate their houses with lamps and nine tons and they also make effigies of Narakasura, an Asura King, and burn them at the dawn of the next day. Various types of competitions are also organized in Goa to choose the biggest and the best effigy of Narakasura. People also gamble during the time of Diwali and you too can be part of it to make your experience exciting and memorable. You can also visit places such as Aguada Fort, and Dudhsagar Falls for greater fun and adventure.
People of Delhi or 2nd to none when it comes to the celebration of Diwali. In most houses, Laxmi puja is performed and people exchange gifts amongst friends and families. The whole city gets illuminated with lights and dias making the atmosphere quite vibrant and lively. On Diwali night, you must visit Connaught Place, India Gate, Lotus Temple, etc. to witness the enthusiasm of the crowd and the beauty of these places.
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Frequently asked questions about Diwali
Why is Diwali celebrated?
In different parts of India, Diwali is celebrated for various reasons. In the northern parts of India, the festival is celebrated to commemorate the return of Lord Rama after completing his 14 years of exile. People here also celebrate this day as Goddess Lakshmi was born after Samudra Manthan. In the eastern parts of India, people celebrate Diwali to honor Goddess Kali who is believed to have killed many demons to purify the earth.
Why Diwali is called the festival of lights?
On the day of Diwali, people decorate their houses with earthen lamps (dias), LED lights, and various other kinds of illuminating objects. On this particular day, the atmosphere in the environment gets completely awakened with bright and beautiful lights making this festival the festival of lights.
For how many days Diwali is celebrated?
In most parts of India, Diwali is celebrated for five days. The five days include Dhanteras, Naraka Chaturdashi, Laxmi Puja, Govardhan Puja, and Bhai Dooj.
What Pooja is done on the day of Diwali?
In various parts of India, people worship Goddess Lakshmi who is considered as the goddess of wealth. People pray to her for prosperity, wellness and wealth.
Why do people light earthen lamps during Diwali?
People believe that the fire of the lamp is the destroyer of negative energy in the atmosphere and by lighting diyas inside and outside the house, they invite positive energies into their lives.