Diwali, the festival of lights, falls in the month of Kartik and is celebrated by the Hindu population all over the world with great enthusiasm. People start their preparations well ahead of the festival so that they don't run out of time. Diwali, one of the most celebrated festivals in India, is associated with many legends, which makes it a highly significant religious festival. Major legend is that of Lord Rama's return to his Kingdom Ayodhya and people's celebrationsreagrding his return. However, there are many other legends associated with this festival, like Lord Krishna's victory over Narakasura. All these legends have the same message to spread-the victory of good over evil. There are many rituals and traditions associated with Diwali, many of them have high religious significance. These activities make this festival highly entertaining and jubilant. Before getting ready, it would be better if you go through the major activities once so that it would give you proper orientation to get started.
Things To Do On Diwali
Pujas And Prayers
Pujas and prayers are important part of Diwali celebrations. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, is most generous during Diwali that she blesses those who worship her on this day. Hence, Lakshmi puja is conducted in every household to please Goddess Lakshmi. Another important puja is Govardhan puja, dedicated to Lord Krishna in commemoration of the legend of Mount Govardhan. The legend has it that Lord Krishna lifted up mount Govardhan to rescue people when Lord Indra punished them with heavy downpour and flood.
The festival of Diwali is famous for its decorations. People decorate their home with colorful rangolis and toran. Torans and other decorations are available in market but, many prefer to make these decors by themselves. The tradition of decorating home during Diwali is actually part of the belief that goddess Lakshmi visits every household during Diwali and showers blessings on her devotees. Hence, people decorate their homes to welcome Goddess Lakshmi.
Milan (Getting Together)
Getting together with friends and family gives you most wonderful moments of your life. Diwali is an occasion to arrange such get-togethers known as 'Milan'. After all, what can be more exciting than celebrating Diwali with your dear and near ones!
Diwali festivities are not complete without lighting diyas. The term Diwali (array of lights) is very much associated with the practice of lighting diyas. This practice of lighting diyas dates back to pre-historic India. It is believed that it was on this auspicious day that Lord Rama returned to his Kingdom Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile. People of Ayodhya wanted to celebrate this occasion and they decorated the city with lighted earthen lamps. Since then, lighting diyas during Diwali has been in practice.
This is the most entertaining activity of Diwali. It is believed that bursting crackers keeps evil spirits away from you. Though, some people burst crackers during day time, night is most preferred time to bust crackers because of two reasons. The first reason is that the beauty of the fireworks is best seen during night and the second reason is safety; busting crackers during day time may lead to accidents.
Distributing Sweets And Gifts
Distributing sweets and gifts among loved ones makes Diwali a special experience. Usually people prepare traditional sweets in their home but, owing to the busy life, people now opt for ready-made sweets.
The festival of Diwali is celebrated with great energy and enthusiasm. There are many things to do, many preparations to be done. Get started now itself so that you don't run out of time for preparations.