Diwali, traditionally referred to as Deepavali (Deepon ki Awali or row of lamps), is one of the biggest festivals Hindus eagerly look forward to. Small wonder that this age-old tradition is called the festival of lights. In most states across India, Diwali festivities span over five days, and it becomes a perfect occasion for family get-togethers, feasts, indulgence in sweet tooth and gorging on savouries.
The festival of Diwali is believed to be the ultimate victory of good over evil. The lighting of divas and lamps is seen as the eradication of darkness as we move towards a bright and hopeful future. On this day, Lord Rama (the seventh avatar of Shri Vishnu) returned to Ayodhya (his kingdom) with Maa Sita and his brother Laxmana after spending 14 years in exile and defeating the evil King Ravana.
It is said that the people of Ayodhya waited with bated breath to welcome Shri Ram, his consort Sita and brother Lakshman. They organized a grand ceremony on the occasion of their triumphant return. To express their love and devotion, the whole kingdom was lit with bright lamps, divas and fireworks. Shri Ram returned to Ayodhya on the New Moon Day (Amavasya Tithi) when there was practically no visible Moon. Hence, to make up for the absence of the Moon and at the same time light up the city, people lit lamps and thus offered their humble tributes to their future king. And this is how the festival of Diwali came into existence.
In some parts of India, the festival of Diwali is celebrated as the victory of Lord Krishna over the wicked demon Narakasura. It is believed that when Narakasura kidnapped more than 16,000 princesses, Lord Krishna defeated him and freed all the princesses.
Diwali celebrations have become an integral part of Indian culture. It is celebrated all over the country and is known as the festival that brings people closer together. Each house is illuminated and decorated with various assortments of coloured lights and earthen divas. The entire country is bathed in the soft glow of light and warmth emanating from every household, making it a truly wondrous sight to behold. This symbolizes the true meaning of Diwali, as we try to help those in need and drive away the darkness from their lives as well.
On this day, celebrants dress in their finest new clothes and offer prayers to the various Gods and Goddesses according to their familial traditions. Diwali marks the onset of winter and the beginning of all things new, both in nature and humanity. The festival signifies letting go of the past year’s worries and troubles and stepping into the light.
Evergreen Publications wish you and your family a pleased and joyous Diwali!