Diwali 2023: The auspicious Hindu festival of Diwali falls on November 12. Also known as Deepavali, the Festival of Lights is celebrated with great pomp across the country. It symbolizes the “spiritual victory of light over darkness, of good over evil and of knowledge over ignorance”. The festival is marked according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar and falls between mid-October and mid-November on the 15th day of the month Kartik – the darkest night of the year. The festivities are spread over five days, starting with Dhanteras and ending with Bhai Dooj. As we prepare to celebrate the festival, know why we celebrate it, its history and significance, and some lesser-known facts.
Why do we celebrate Diwali?
Diwali marks the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya with Maa Sita and Lord Lakshman after spending 14 years in exile and defeating the king of Lanka, Ravana. Hindus celebrate Diwali for various reasons. The festival celebrates the country’s cultural heritage and is celebrated across the country. Even Indians from outside the country celebrate the festival, making it a unifying celebration. It’s also that time of year when families come together. Diwali also marks the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. During this period, people worship gods and goddesses like Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi, which helps them immerse themselves in the traditions and awakens them spiritually.
Meanwhile, Deepavali is also an auspicious time for Hindus, bringing them good luck and prosperity. So, it marks a new beginning for them – as they start new businesses, ventures and their financial year. It also enhances the sense of community as people decorate their homes with diyas, candles and colorful lights, eat delicious treats, exchange gifts, follow rituals passed down through generations, perform Lakshmi Puja and do charity work. .
History and Significance of Diwali 2023:
According to legends, Lord Rama, the prince of Ayodhya, returned home (Ayodhya) from Vanvas (exile) after 14 years and defeated Ravana – the king of Lanka – on the auspicious occasion of Diwali – accompanied by Mata Sita and Lakshman. The people of Ayodhya celebrated his return by lighting up the streets and every house in Ayodhya with rows of lamps and diyas. The tradition has continued until today and is celebrated as the Festival of Lights.
Diwali signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. This marks the eradication of dark shadows, negativity and doubts from our lives. The festival promotes the message of illuminating our hearts with clarity and positivity. On this day, people celebrate and worship prosperity by praying to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh, exchanging gifts with loved ones and giving charity.
Lesser known facts of Diwali 2023:
Here are some facts you didn’t know about the Festival of Lights —
1) Diwali falls on a moonless night – It is celebrated in the month of Kartik in Amavasya (moonless night), according to the Hindu calendar.
2) The foundations of the Golden Temple were laid on Diwali.
3) The festival has different names across the country and beyond its borders. In Nepal it is marked as Tihar ir Swanti. In Malaysia, it is called Hari Diwali. In Thailand, people observe Diwali as Lam Kriyongh and light lamps on bana leaves.
4) Apart from India, the city of Leicester in the United Kingdom hosts the biggest Diwali celebrations. Every year, tens of thousands of people gather in the streets to enjoy a night of light, music and dance.
5) In Bengal, people worship Maa Kali – the destroyer of all evil forces – on Diwali. In Nepal, people worship Lord Krishna and celebrate his victory over the evil king Narakaasura.