What is Diwali Day?

What is Diwali day? Diwali is an auspicious day which is to celebrate the arrival of Lord Rama after the victory over the demon king Ravana. When Lord Rama came back to Ayodhya after defeating the demon Ravana, the people of Ayodhya celebrated the victory of Rama by lighting oil lamps (Diya or deep) outside their homes, decorating their homes, and exchanging gifts with each other. Since then the celebration is known as Diwali.

Diwali or Deepavali is the festival of lights. It is one of the important festivals according to Hindu mythology and has been celebrated throughout India with great enthusiasm every year.

The word Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit word Deepavali, which means “rows of lighted lamps”. All the houses, shops, and public places are decorated with electric lights and small oil lamps called Diyas.

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Which day Diwali falls every year?

The date of Diwali is determined by the Indian calendar which changes every year. Usually, it falls between October to November. It is observed on the 15th day of the 8th month (the month of Kartik) according to India’s calendar. The day is called Amavasya or ‘new moon day’.

This is the festival that is also celebrated by the non-Hindu community as well. Generally, it is a 5 days festival. The main festival days fall on different dates every year and this is decided according to the Hindu lunar calendar. Usually, the main dates fall in the month of October and November every year.

Since that time the celebration transforms from just decoration or lightening clay & oil lamps to bursting firecrackers as well by means of spreading lights as a welcoming gesture of Lord Rama.

How many days is Diwali for?

Diwali is just for one day however when coupled with other important days it becomes the five days celebration. That’s why generally people take holidays for around 5-7 days. Here are all the auspicious days that are celebrated along with Diwali:

  1. Dhanteras: The first day is started by praying to the Hindu goddess of prosperity and wealth called “Lakshmi”. On this day people buy jewelry, gold, silver, or utensils and decorate their homes to welcome the goddess Lakshmi. People also create traditional oil lamps and design patterns called rangoli on the surface by using color sand.
  2. Chhoti Diwali: Just before the main day of Diwali falls, Choti Diwali or narak Chaturdashi or Kali chaudas. This day relates to the story of the victory of Lord Krishna over demon Narkasura. People tend to use clay & oil lamps to celebrate this day.
  3. Diwali: The main day of Diwali when people wish each other with great enthusiasm, exchanging gifts, decorating homes with clay lamps, electric lamps, etc. In the evening according to the time suggested by astrologers, people start the Prayer of Goddess Lakshmi to bless them with wealth and prosperity. After the prayer, people generally start bursting firecrackers however it is not mandatory.
  4. Govardhan Puja: This day relates to the story of the victory of Lord Krishna when he destroyed the ego of Lord Indra by saving the whole of the village from the heavy rain caused by Lord Indra. Lord Krishna lifted the whole mountain with his index fingers and all villages took shelter under that mountain to save themselves from the heavy downpour.
  5. Bhai Dooj: This day marks the love of brothers and sisters. All siblings perform the rituals of tilak and exchange sweets and gifts with each other. Generally, governments set the bus fare-free for ladies on this day so that they can travel free to their brothers.

What is Diwali all about?

North India:

The majority of people associate Diwali with the ancient story of Lord Rama (an incarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu). According to the legend, Lord Rama rescued his wife, Sita, from the demon king Ravana (from Shri Lanka), by building a bridge from India to Sri Lanka which is still present connecting India and Sri Lanka. The day when the demon king was killed is known and celebrated as Dussehra or Vijayadashmi (Victory of Good over evil). 

The grand celebration on the day when Lord Rama returned back to his empire along with his wife and brother Lakshmana after 14 years of exile is called Diwali. Diwali is also a celebration of the Hindu goddess of wealth and good fortune, Lakshmi. It is also considered the first day of the financial year.

South India:

South Indian version reflects the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon king Narakasura, who had imprisoned 16000 women in his place.

Western India:

Here the festival relates to Lord Vishnu’s victory on King Bali—whose immense power had become a threat to the gods—to the underworld.

Who celebrates Diwali? Why celebrate Diwali?

The festival is not just confined to Hindus as many other communities like Sikh/Buddhist/Christians also take part in the celebration according to their belief which varies accordingly. Diwali is an important religious festival, it is very much similar to Christmas has also become a holiday celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike in all the countries.

As goes with every festival it is an annual festival that shows the victory of Good over evil and also relates to the other stories attached to different parts of India. A celebration every year will let people remember their culture and traditions which is necessary for the upcoming generations.

How to celebrate Diwali

On this auspicious day, you need to get up early and after completing all daily rituals you need to wear new or traditional clothes. The whole day will be like appreciating the decoration and offering prayers, meeting friends and relatives. Call them and wish them Happy Diwali. By evening the charm of the festival will be at its peak when all the houses are lights up with electric lights, oil lamps, and the sky is filled with lots of firecrackers.

Later in the evening at a particular time, people need to start the Lakshmi Pujan with all their family members. Being the first deity Lord Ganesh is prayed first by singing “Ganesh Aarti” which is Jai Ganesh Jai Ganesh Deva, followed by Aarti of Lakshmi Ji, Aarti of Vishnu Ji, Ram Stuti, Hanuman Chalisa.

At last, everyone bowed their heads to Goddess Lakshmi Ji to seek her blessings in their life.

After the whole puja, the elder of the family or the female of the family offers homemade or ready-made sweets to all members of the family. Now is the time for kids to start bursting firecrackers under the supervision of elders. To buy the firecrackers there are local markets set up in each city (if not banned by courts) however few local shops also get some stock to sell.

The next day when sweepers visit home or streets, people offer them some bonus as a courtesy as well.

Traveling during Diwali

In case of any important religious festival in India, you will notice huge traffic jams, roadblocks, etc which can make your travel plan hazy. Usually, people tend to take leaves for a few days for Diwali and flock to their home villages during the festival, so the hotels and public transportation systems fill up quickly. We recommend you book your flights/cabs as quickly as possible to avoid getting delayed.

How to greet on Diwali?

People understand the language of love. The best way to greet on Diwali day is to say “Happy Diwali”. Let us know if you have got any chance to celebrate Diwali with any Indian family

Traditions to follow on Diwali in a nutshell

  • Decorate the house/offices with lights and oil lamps
  • Remember your ancestors and pray to them for their well being and your well being
  • Visit people relatives and exchange sweets and gifts
  • Pray to Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, and seek the blessings
  • If you are fine burst fireworks and enjoy the festivities

FAQ about What is diwali day

What is Diwali?

Diwali is an important Indian festival that shows the celebration of the return of Lord Rama along with his wife and brother to Ayodhya after a 14-year exile and after defeating the demon king Ravana

How to celebrate Diwali?

By decorating houses/offices with lights and lamps
Praying ancestors
By visiting friends and relatives and exchanging sweets and gifts
By praying Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth and prosperity)

Who can celebrate Diwali?

Anyone can celebrate Diwali.

When is Diwali in 2021

Diwali date for 2021 is 4 November

Final thoughts

India is full of rich culture and festivals play an important role in its day-to-day life. Diwali is one of the most prominent Indian festivals hence an attempt has been made to spread the word about it to the world. We are sure that by now you will have enough idea about What is Diwali day? How is it celebrated? What is the story behind it? What traditions to follow? If you have some stories related to Diwali, please feel free to comment and share them.

We wish you all a very Happy Diwali. May Goddess Lakshmi bless you with lots of wealth and prosperity