Observed on the day of Amavasya, between Octobers to December, the festival of Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Also known as the festival of lights, Diwali festivities span over five days with each day bearing its own significance. Apart from being one of the most sacred Hindu festivals, the festival of Diwali holds significance in different religions as well. For the Jains, Diwali marks the period when Lord Mahavira attained Moksha or Nirvana.Diwali also marks the period when the great Mauryan King Asoka converted to Buddhism and thus, bears great importance for the Buddhists as well. The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word 'Deepavali', 'Deepa' meaning light and 'Avail' meaning row. During Diwali, people light diyas or earthen lamps to dispel darkness and evil spirits and to welcome prosperity. Celebrated with great fanfare and zeal, particularly in north India, gifts and sweets are exchanged between friends and family members. Read this article and learn all about the significance and the celebrations of the festival of Diwali.
Importance Of Diwali
Diwali Significance For The Hindus
The festival of Diwali which marks the triumph of good over evil is celebrated over a period of five days. The first day of the festival is called Dhanteras, which marks the beginning of the Hindu financial year. The next day, also known as the Naraka Chaturdashi, is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon King Naraka. On the third day the Hindus worship Goddess Lakshmi, who is believed to shower wealth and prosperity upon her devotees. The fourth day is celebrated to welcome King Bali, who after being banished by Lord Vishnu into the underworld, comes to the earth to visit over his kingdom on this day. The fifth and the last day is Yama Dvitiya, also called Bhai Dooj, which is celebrated to strengthen the bond of love existing between siblings. In North India, Diwali is celebrated to commemorate the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after defeating the demon king Ravana.
Diwali Significance For The Jains
Diwali bears special significance among Jains as well. Celebrated as Deva Devali, Jains believes that Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana on this day. The Jain New Year also starts with Pratipada, following the festival of Diwali.
Diwali Significance For Buddhists
Newar Buddist celebrates the festival of Diwali with great devotion, as they believe that the great Mauryan Emperor Asoka embraced Buddhism on this Day. This festival is known as Ashok Vijayadashami among Buddhists. The Buddists celebrate the day with chanting Mantras and worshipping Lord Buddha.
Diwali is one of the most revered Hindu festivals which bear significance in other religions as well. Apart from India, Diwali is an official holiday in many other countries like Trinidad & Tobago, Nepal, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji.