How Diwali is Celebrated – Part 2
5 DAYS OF DIWALI
The First day of Diwali – Dhanteras
The First day is called Dhanteras or Dhantryaodashi, which falls on the thirteenth day of the month of Ashwin. Follow the link to learn more about DHANTERAS.
The Second day of Diwali – Narak Chaturdasi OR Choti Diwali
It is the fourteenth lunar day (tithi) of the dark forthnight of the month of Kartik and the eve of Diwali. On this day Lord Krishna destroyed the demon Narakasura and made the world free from fear. Follow the link to learn more about NARAKASURA.
The third day – Diwali Day and Laxmi Pujan day
On the dark new moon night, entrances to all homes are lit up and decorated with rangoli patterns to welcome Lakshmi, the radiant consort of Vishnu and the goddess of wealth and luster. Lakshmi Puja is performed on this day. Diwali marks the end of another financial year and businessmen perform Chopda Pujan on this day and open new account books for next year. Diwali time is considered auspicious and it is the “Time to shop or start new ventures”.
The fourth day – New Year day or Bestavarsh/ Goverdhan Pooja
Fourth day is called Padwa or Varsha Pratipada that marks the coronation of King Vikramaditya and Vikaram-Samvat was started from this Padwa day.Day after the Lakshmi Puja, most families celebrate the new year by dressing in new clothes, wearing jewellery and visiting family members and business colleagues to give them sweets, dry fruits and gifts.
It is also marked as Goverdhan Pooja day/Annakoot day. As per Vishnu-Puran, the people of Gokul used to celebrate a festival in honor of Lord Indra and worshiped him after the end of every monsoon season. But one particular year young Krishna stopped them from offering prayers to Lord Indra who in terrific anger sent a deluge to submerge Gokul. But Krishna saved his Gokul by lifting up the Govardhan Mountain and holding it over the people as an umbrella. Prayers are offered in temples and especially in Mathura and Nathadwara, deities are given milk bath, dressed in shining attires with ornaments of dazzling diamonds, pearls, rubies and other precious stones.
The Fifth day of Diwali – Bhai Dhooj
Second day of the bright forthnight (Shukla Paksh) of Kartik is called “Bhaiya-Duj”. It comes once a year – two days after Diwali.
Many years ago, in the Vedic era, Yama (Yamraj, the Lord of death) visited his sister Yamuna(Yami) after a very long time. Yami was elated to see her brother and she put an auspicious tilak on his forehead. They ate, talked and enjoyed their time together and before leaving they exchanged special gifts as a token of their love for each other and Yamraj announced that anyone who receives tilak from his sister on this day will never be harmed .Since then the tradition has continued and it became imperative for a brother to go to his sister’s house to celebrate Bhaiya duj.On Bhai Dooj, teeka or tilak (vermilion) is applied on brother’s forehead and sister’s pray for the well being and long life of their brothers.As a token of love brothers give gifts to their sisters.
SOME BELEFS ABOUT DIWALI
Why do people clean and decorate their homes for Diwali?
Diwali is considered to be the festival of wealth and prosperity – Goddess Laxmi. It is believed that she visits all homes to bless the people and so to welcome her homes are cleaned & decorated.
Why do people Light up their homes with clay oil lamps?
To welcome Goddess Laxmi. Clay lamps also indicates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, as well as the victory of truth over falsehood and that man can succeed only through his virtues.
Why do people play cards on Diwali?
It is believed that goddess Parvati played dice with her husband, Lord Shiv on this day and she decreed that whosoever gambled on Diwali night would prosper throughout the ensuring year.This tradition of playing cards- flash and rummy with stakes on this particular day continues even today.
PREPARATIONS OF DIWALI
1. Preparations of diwali begins well in advance. Diwali is the time for everyone to rejoice looking forward to a bright future.
2. Especially for businessmen,they do puja of account books called “CHOPDA PUJAN” and start writing their new accounts.
3. Each house entrances are made colorful with lovely traditional motifs of “Rangoli” designs to welcome Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity.People start preparing sweets, light up their homes with colorful lights, buy new clothes & Jewelry. This new moon night or Amavasya night is thus turned into a bright and colorful night.The lighting of lamps is a way of paying obeisance to god for attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, peace, valor and fame.
4. Hundreds of fire crackers can be seen glowing and then bursting as though it was a battle of glows and sparks in the skies.
5 Markets are gaily decorated and lit up which captures the social mood at its happiest. It is a very jolly time for visiting, exchanging gifts, decorating homes, feasting, and of course attiring in new clothes.
6. On Diwali day, everywhere in India, at dusk when darkness unfolds itself, you can see a spectacular illumination of tiny flickering lamps adorning in rows – at homes, buildings and streets. And all this illumination and fireworks, joy and festivity, is to signify the victory of divine forces over those of wickedness. Happy Diwali to all of You!!
RITI RIWAZ/ TRADITIONS OF DIWALI
Diwali is the festival of Laxmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth. It is believed that Goddess Laxmi visit everyone during Diwali and brings peace and prosperity to all.
On the night of diwali “Lakshmi-Pujan” is performed in the evenings. A traditional Puja is performed after sunset in all the homes.
Five pieces of ghee diyas (lamps) are lit in front of the deities, Naivedya of traditional sweets is offered to the Goddess and devotional songs- in praise of Goddess Laxmi are sung.
After the Puja people light diyas (lamps) in their homes to usher in light, and clear the darkness from the world.
In villages cattle’s are adorned and worshiped by farmers as they form the main source of their income.
In south cows are offered special veneration as they are supposed to be the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi and therefore they are adorned and worshiped on this day .
BASIC STEP BY STEP DIWALI PUJAN
IN THE MORNING –
1. First clean the Puja room and then bath each Deity ( Lakshmi & Ganesh) first with water, then with milk or panchamitra or rose water, followed by water once more. To make a Panchamitra – mix these 5 ingredients together – milk, curd, ghee(clarified butter), sugar & honey.
2. Place flowers, abir (red color), sindoor (vermilion), haldi (turmeric) in a plat in front of the deities.
3. Prepare some mithais (sweets), snacks & buy fruits as prasahad.
4. Place any gold coins or silver coins in a plate in front of the deities.
5. Ready Deepak (Lamp) filled with ghee/oil in front of the Deities – tiny diyas of clay are lighted to drive away the shadows of evil spirits.
IN THE EVENING – PUJA TIME –
1. Before you begin puja light up diyas all around the house.
2. Apply haldi, sindoor /abir to gold/silver coins.
3. Offer flowers to deities.
4. Apply haldi and sindoor to gods.
5. Light up the deepak and agarbatti.
6. Offer prasahad – sweets, fruits and snacks to gods.
7. Do some donation which could later be given to the poor .
8. Perform Ganesh ji’s aarti – Ganeshji is to be worshiped in all pujas before any other god or goddess.
9. Perform Lakshmi ji’s aarti – Place flowers at her feet as an offering. A silver coin is placed in front of Goddess during the puja.
10. Perform Vishnu ji ki aarti – Om Jai Jagdish hare !!
10. Pray and thank god for a wonderful year and seek your elders blessings.
11. After the puja have Prasahad and go out to burst crackers.
These are just the basic puja rituals- ask your elders to check for family traditions and values.
RECIPES OF DIWALI