Festivals of Mahanirvani Kingdom
Diwali, also known as Deepavali or Deepawali is one of the most important, hugely waited and immensely cherished festival celebrated across India and in parts of Nepal. Originally, the name was Deepawali, which has its origin from Sanskrit, meaning “Rows of Deep” (deep meaning Light).
According to the Hindu calendar, the festival of Diwali is celebrated on the new moon day that marks the end of the Vedic month of Ashwini and the beginning of the month of Kartika (November -December).
The festival of Diwali is not only significant to Hindus, but has importance in Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. For Hindus, it is associated with the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya, after his 14 years of exile and victory over the demon Ravana.
On the day of his return, King Rama was welcomed to the kingdom of Ayodhya with rows of Deep (lamps), lit throughout the kingdom.
Thus, there is a tradition of lighting oil lamps that symbolize the victory of good over evil and freedom from spiritual darkness.
Hindus, also make preparations to welcome goddess Lakshmi by drawing Rangoli, and Paduka (footsteps) at the entrance that would allure Goddess Lakshmi to visit one’s home and bring prosperity along with her.
There are numerous customs and traditions associated with Diwali, such as the bursting of firecrackers, lighting of lamps, wearing new clothes, distribution of sweets, exchange of gifts, etc. The crackers symbolize illumination in one’s life after dispelling the darkness.
A Five Day Festival
Diwali celebrations spread across five days in North India, with each day having its own significance and set of rituals.
The first day is called “Dhanteras”, on which new utensils and silverware are brought to the house. The second day is called “Chhoti Diwali”, which normally involves preparation for the next day. The third day is the “Badi Diwali”, which involves the worship of Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. The fourth day is the Govardhan Puja and finally, the five days end with Bhai Dooj.
The festival of Diwali is truly a “Festival of Lights”, as it not only involves the lighting of Lamps but, it brings the light of happiness, togetherness, spiritual enlightenment, and prosperity to everyone.