Diwali 2020: Know all the legends behind the 5-day celebrations
New Delhi, Oct 06: Deepawali, Deepavali, or Diwali is the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu festivals. It is the festival of lights.
Diwali is marked by four days of celebration, which literally illuminates the country with its brilliance and dazzles people with its joy.
As per Hindu calendar, the five day festival of Diwali is centered on the new moon day that ends the month of Ashwin and begins in the month of Kartika, beginning on the 13th day of the dark half of Ashwin and ending on the 2nd day of the bright half of Kartika. The main day of celebration varies regionally.
The first day of Diwali is called Dhanvantari Triodasi or Dhan Teras. The second day of Diwali is called Narak Chaturdasi. It is the fourteenth lunar day (thithi) of the dark forthnight of the month of Kartik and the eve of Diwali.
Diwali is celebrated with earthen lamps and artificial lights illuminate up the place.
According to the Skanda Purana, the earthen lamps or the Diyas symbolise the Sun, describing it the cosmic giver of light and energy.
Return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya:
As per the Hindu epic Ramayana, Diwali is the day when Lord Rama, Goddess Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman returned to Ayodhya after spending 14 years in forests. Many Hindus also believe that Goddess Lakshmi was born on Diwali during the churning of cosmic ocean (Samudra Manthan). Hence, Diwali is observed to celebrate the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya.
On the auspicious new moon day, which is 'Amavasyaa' of the Hindi month of Kartik, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity - Lakshmi was incarnated. She appeared during the churning of the ocean, which is known as 'Samudra Manthan', by the demons on one side and 'Devataas' (Gods) on the other side. Therefore, the worship of Goddess Lakshmi, the Lakshmi Pujan, on the day of Diwali, became a tradition.
In northern India, Narak Chaturdashi is observed as part of Diwali festivities and also known as Chhoti Diwali. The day takes its name Narak Chaturdashi from the legend of Narakasura and his eventual execution at Lord Krishna's hand.
Demon king Narakasura, spread his reign all over the universe including the 'Swargalok' the kingdom of Indra. He also stole the jewelry of Aditi, the mother of Gods and abducted 16000 girls and women. Lord Krishna killed Narakasura and restored the reign of Indra and honour of Aditi and freed and married the abducted 16000 women. Thus, the day is celebrated to mark the deliverance of Narakasura at the hand of Lord Krishna.
To mark the day when Lord Krishna saved the citizens of Gokul from the torrential rains under the mount Govardhan carrying on his little finger, Govardhan Puja is observed on the next day of Diwali. The rains was the manifestation of the wrath of Indra, when Krishna asked the citizens of Gokul to worship Govardhan hill instead of Indra in anticipation of better rains and farm yield. When, Krishna didn't deter even after continuously carrying the hill for many days, Indra conceded defeat and stopped the rains. Thus, in honour of Govardhan hill and the victory of lord Krishna over Indra, the day is celebrated in many parts of the country. A small hill of cow dung is made and worshipped on the day. Farmers also worship their cattle and feed them special feast on the day.
Bhai Dooja is celebrated two days after Diwali and culminates the five days festivities of Diwali celebrations. One of the most famous legends around Bhai Dooj narrates the story of Yamraja and Yamuna. Yamraja visited his sister Yamuna on this day. Pleased by her love and affection, Yamraja gave his sister a Vardhan (boon) that whosoever visits her on this day, shall be liberated from all sins.
The rituals involve sisters putting 'Tilak' on brothers' forehead and performing of 'Aarti' while praying for the happiness and fortunes for their brothers. The rituals involve sisters putting 'Tilak' on brothers' forehead and performing of 'Aarti' while praying for the happiness and fortunes for their brothers.