Diwali, as we all know, is a festival of diyas and colourful lights. It is celebrated during the month of Kartika which usually refers to October and November. Diwali is always celebrated on Amavasya (moonless night). Therefore, the exact date and duration of auspicious time for Puja is determined by the position of the Moon as per the astronomical events. Diwali does not only mark the beginning of Winter and the new sowing season but it also marks a new financial year.
Here are some of the unknown & interesting facts about the festival of Diwali:
The festival of Diwali or Deepavali lasts five days and each day is related to different legends and is recognised for different purposes. The first day is celebrated as Dhanteras on which people buying new things specially made up of Gold or Silver. They make sure that everything is cleansed at their home and then they decorate it especially the floors are decorated by making colourful Rangolis. The second day is celebrated as Naraka Chaturdasi in southern parts of India.
Goddess of Prosperity, Laksmi is worshipped by organising Laksmi Puja on the Third day. It is also the day on which Diwali is celebrated. Whereas the Fourth day, is celebrated in different ways, like for some it’s the day of Govardhana Puja and for others, it is known as Balipratipada and for Gujarati community, it is recognised as their New Year’s Day. The last Fifth day is celebrated as Bhai dooj and Vishwakarma Puja is also done on this day.
A Global festival
The festival of Diwali teaches us that light and truth will always win over the darkness irrespective of where you are living in the world. Therefore this lesson is not only acknowledged in India but also in other countries. In the month of Aswayuja, Diwali is celebrated as Hari Diwali in Malaysia. Diwali is also known as Lam Kriyongh and to celebrate it, instead of bursting crackers, lighting lamps are made from Banana leaves in Thailand.
Diwali celebrations in India is one the biggest celebration that you will see in India but if we see outside of India then, the city of Leicester in the UK holds the largest Diwali celebrations every year. It is a combination of dance, colourful lights and music that are enjoyed by thousands of people gathered around the streets.
In Nepal, Diwali is known as Tihar or Swanti whereas, in Sri Lanka, people make figures of deities from sugar crystals known as Misiri. They also decorate their homes and burst crackers on this day.
Foundation Day of Golden Temple
Golden Temple was established on the day of Diwali. It is located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. The first Harmandir Sahib was built in 1604 by Arjan, the fifth Sikh Guru. However, the foundation stone was laid by Mian Mīr, a Muslim divine of Lahore. But the temple was destroyed several times by Afghan invaders and was finally rebuilt in marble and copper overlaid with gold foil during the reign (1801–39) of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Deeply Connected with various Religions
On the next of Diwali, the sixth-largest religion of India, the Jain community celebrates their New Year’s Day. Not only this but according to their religious beliefs, the day of Diwali is celebrated is also the day on which the last of the 24 Thirthankaras (Great Teachers), Lord Mahavira attained ‘Nirvana’.
This day of Diwali is also celebrated by the Sikh community because it was the day on which Guru Hargobind Ji was released along with several Hindu Kings from the captivity of the Mughal Emperor named Jahangir.
Diwali or Deepavali is celebrated as the day on which Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura and brought peace to the lands.
According to legends in the Southern part of India, during his last breathes, Narakasura apologised and urged Mother Earth to bless the day of his death that with lights and colours across the lands every year to which Mother Earth gladly granted his last wish.
A Meet and Greet Day
Diwali is one of the few occasions on which soldiers of both countries, India and Pakistan meet and greet and even distribute sweets across the border to their counterparts every year. Over the last 70 years, India and Pakistan have fought three wars, however, on this day they both tend to carry on the tradition of celebrating and wishing Diwali because in the past they both celebrated this day together as one nation.