Diwali Festival Celebrations
Diwali the festival of lights is one of the most popular festivals celebrated by Hindus all over the world. This is also a major festival in India, and it is celebrated by families together in their homes following all the traditions and rituals. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five-day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika in Bikram Sambat calendar. In the month of mid-October and mid-November.
Traditions of Diwali
Before Diwali night, people clean, renovate and decorate their homes and offices. It is also a period when children hear ancient stories from their parents or elders. Girls and women go shopping and create rangoli and other creative patterns on the floor, near doors and walkways. Youth and adults alike help with lighting and preparing for patakhe. On Diwali night, people dress up in new clothes or their best outfit, light up diyas inside and outside their home, participates in family puja which follows with fireworks then a family feast including mithai.
Legends of Diwali
In the state of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the festival is mainly celebrated for two days wherein the first day is celebrated as Narak Chaturdarshi. The story of Narakasura, the demon king who had become so powerful that the wreaked havoc in the entire universe. One day before Diwali, Krishna killed the demon and rescued some 16,000 women who were in his captivity. Another version of the story credits Sathyabhama, Krishna’s wife with the killing of Narakasura. Sathyabhama was believed to be an incarnation of Bhudevi, Narakasura’s mother and the only one who had the power to kill him. In any case, Narakasura’s downfall is just one more reason why Diwali is celebrated in India which went on for two days including the Diwali day as a victory Festival. Women celebrate Diwali with Rangoli patterns, so as to show their respect and love for Lord Krishna. In Goa, large effigies of Narakasura are burnt to commemorate the event.
On the first day, they celebrate Dhanteran also known as Asweyuja Bahula Thrayodashi. This is an occasion for shopping and investments. It is considered an auspicious day for purchases, as this makes Lord Dhavantri and Lakshmi happy. Second day is an occasion for immense excitement and fervor. Hari katha is narrated during this time, and story is also staged at some places. A huge dummy of Narakasura is created that is filled with fire crackers. A person dressed up as Lord Krishna bursts this dummy. At nights, the sky is a sight to watch with a lot of colorful crackers bursting. People in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana visit temples mostly. The third day of Diwali is known as Kaumudi Mahostavam, Balindra Puja or Karthigayi Deepam in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In the evening, an extensive Puja is held in families and Lakshmi Ji is worshipped. After prayers, children and elder burst firecrackers and then exchange gifts between family members and close friends. Sweets, which are an intergal part of any festival in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, are prepared in homes as well as bought from shops for exchange. The festival is full of messages depicting one or more aspects of human life, relationships or ancient tractions.