Deepawali is the combination of two Sanskrit
words. Deep meaning light and Awali meaning rows. When they merge
we get one word Deepawali meaning rows of lights.It was from then
on that the words Diwali and Deepawali became synonymous.
Diwali the Hindu festival of lights is celebrated
with the performance of Lakshme Pooja(worship unto the Goddess of
light,wealth,and prosperity) and at night time, thousands of
earthen lamps called Deeyas are lit to dispell darkness.The
festival honors the Hindu goddess Laksmi, the goddess of fortune,
good luck, riches and generosity. She will visit every home
during the festival. Diwali also celebrates the triumph of good
The date of this holiday varies each year according
to the Hindu calendar. It is held on the 14th day of the dark
half of Aashwayuja to the 2nd day of the bright half of Kaartik,
which falls in October or November in the Gregorian calendar. The
celebration comes just as the monsoon season ends and the weather
is calm and mild.
Diwali celebrated after the return of Lord
Rama from exile was universal in nature.It is said that Lord
Rama returned home on Diwali night after fourteen years of exile
in the forest.The city of Ayodhya appeared to be a garden of
light during that night as everyone went out to meet and greet
Him in the traditionally ceremonial manner.As the inhabitants
came out of their homes with their lighted deeyas to greet Lord
Rama,it created a spectacle with rows of lights as far as the
eyes could see.This gave birth to the word Deepawali,meaning rows
The story about Diwali which regards to the
origins of Diwali.
This the day on which Lord Krishna destroyed
Narakasur.The victory of Lord Krishna over the evil demon,
Naraksura is the triumph of good over evil and therefore the day
is celebrated enthusiastically.
In the Adi Parva of the Mahabarat(one of the great
Hindu epics), the Pandavas(a class of noble men) returned from
the forest during Diwali time.Once more, the celebrations
extended beyond the boundaries of India to wherever Hindus
All of these reasons contribute to the universal
celebration of Diwali as it is today, be it in India or any other
country where Hindus reside.
The 5 days of Diwali.....
Diwali the festival of lights is observed in the
month of Kartik(October-November) on the night of the New
Moon.This night happens to be the darkest night of the year.This
festival of Diwali is a 5 day celebration with Diwali day being
the most important of the five days.Weeks before these five days,
Hindus observe fasting, they clean themselves, their homes and
its surroundings in preparation for Lakshme Pooja(worshiping of
the Goddess of light, wealth and prosperity).
The first day of Diwali.....
The first day of Diwali is called Dhanvantari
Triodasi or Dhanwantari Triodasi also called Dhan Theras.It is in
fact the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksh (the dark
forthnight) of the month of Kartik. On this day, Lord Dhanvantri
came out of the ocean with Ayurvedic medicine (medicine which
promotes healthy long life) for mankind.
This day marks the beginning of Diwali
celebrations. On this day at sunset,Hindus should bathe and offer
a lighted deeya with Prasad (sweets offered at worship time) to
Yama Raj (the Lord of Death) and pray for protection from
This offering should be made near a Tulsie tree(the
Holy Basil) or any other sacred tree that one might have in their
yard. If there is no sacred tree, a clean place in the front yard
On this day,Pandits, Sadhoos,and Hindus in general,
perform Hawan(a fire ritual) and Jap(the chanting of special
Mantras or prayers) for good health and strenght during the
The second day of Diwali.....
This day the houses are cleaned and fresh flowers are placed all
around to adorn the home. A rangoli is drawn at the entrance of
the home. Rangoli's are intricate designs drawn with a
mixture of rice flour and water. They are created for all special
occasion but during Diwali they are filled in with bright colors.
At night, brilliant firework displays take place sometimes
lasting for hours. Cites by rivers float little boats with
lighted candles on the water.A dipa is placed on every windowsill
and on the steps of outside stairways.
The third day of Diwali.....Diwali
This is the day when worship unto Mother Lakshme is
performed throughout India.The day of anticipation has finally
arrived. Traditionally the day starts with an oil bath. New
clothes are worn and the doorways are sprinkled with clean water.
This day of the festival includes a breakfast that has different
Prayers are said either at the temple or at home.
Friends and families visit each other and partake of various
Hindus themselves and join with their families and
their Pandit (priest) worship the divine Goddess Lakshmi,Lord
Kuber And Lord Bharaiva to achieve the blessings of wealth and
prosperity, the triumph of good over evil and light over
This phenomenon of good over evil has attracted
peoples from the many races and they all join with the Hindu
community in celebrating Diwali,the festival of lights.
And above all.....
On this day Mother Lakshmi emerged from the
ocean of milk called the Ksheer Sagar. She brought with Her
wealth and prosperity for mankind.On that day,Lakshme Pooja was
performed to honour Her and as such, every year on Diwali day,
Hindus perform Her prayer and worship.In northern part of India,
on Diwali day, Hindus invite the Pandit (a Hindu priest) to their
home and they perform Lakshme Pooja in grand style.The making and
distribution of various sweets and total vegetarian foods are the
order of the day.They give charity to the poor and gifts to the
Brahmins (the priestly class of people).This practice is alive
and well to this very day.
The fourth day of Diwali.....
On this day, Goverdhan Pooja is performed.Many
thousands of years ago, Lord Krishna caused the people of Vraja
to perform Goverdhan Pooja.From then on, every year Hindus
worship Goverdhan to honour that first Pooja done by the people
Itis written in the Ramayan (a text recording the
exploits of Lord Rama), that when the bridge was being built by
the Vanar army,Hanuman (a divine loyal servant of Lord Rama
possesing enormous strength) was bringing a mountain as material
to help with the construction of the bridge. The call was given
that enough materials was already obtained.Hanuman placed the
mountain down before He could have reached the construction
site.Due to lack of time,He could not have returned the mountain
to its original place.
The diety presiding over this mountain spoke to
Hanuman asking of His reason for leaving the mountain
there.Hanuman replied that the mountain should remain there until
the age of Dwapar when Shree Rama (Lord Rama) incarnates as Lord
Krishna in the form of man. He, Lord Krishna will shower His
grace on the mountain and will instruct that the mountain be
worshiped not only in that age but but in ages to come.This diety
whom Hanuman spoke to was none other than Goverdhan (an
incarnation of Lord Krishna),who manifested Himself in the form
of the mountain.
To fulfill this decree, Goverdhan Pooja was
performed and is continued to be performed today.
The fifth day of Diwali.....
The second day of the bright forthnight (Shukla
Paksh) of Kartik is called Bhratri Dooj. This is the day after
Goverdhan Pooja is performed and normally two days after Diwali
It is a day dedicated to sisters. We have heard
about Raksha Bandhan (brothers day). Well this is sisters
Many moons ago,in the Vedic era,Yama(Yamraj, the Lord of death)
visited His sister Yamuna on this day.He gave his sister a
Vardhan(a boon) that whosoever visits her on this day shall be
liberated from all sins. They will achieve Moksha or final
From then on, brothers visit their sisters on this
day to enquire of their welfare.
This day marks the end of the five days of Diwali