What are the five days of Diwali?
Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is one of the most celebrated festivals in India and among Hindu communities around the world. It is a time of joy, light, and togetherness, as it marks the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. While Diwali is commonly referred to as a five-day festival, it actually consists of several distinct days, each with its own significance and customs.
The first day is celebrated as Dhanteras
Dhanteras is the first day of the Diwali festivities. It falls on the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha) in the Hindu month of Kartik. On this day, people clean and decorate their homes and workplaces. The word “Dhanteras” is derived from “Dhan,” which means wealth, and “Teras,” which means the thirteenth day. It is believed that buying gold, silver, or utensils on this day brings prosperity and good luck.
Dhanteras, also known as “Dhanatrayodashi” or “Dhanvantari Trayodashi,” is a significant and auspicious Hindu festival celebrated in India and by Hindus worldwide. It marks the beginning of the five-day Diwali festival and holds immense cultural, religious, and economic importance. This article will explore the significance of Dhanteras, its rituals, and the prosperity it brings into the lives of those who observe it.
Rituals and Traditions
Cleaning and Decoration: In preparation for Dhanteras, people clean their homes, shops, and workplaces. The belief is that a clean environment attracts the goddess of wealth. Homes and entrances are decorated with colorful rangoli designs and flower garlands.
Lighting Lamps and Diyas: Lighting oil lamps and diyas are an integral part of Dhanteras. The light is believed to symbolize the removal of darkness, both in a literal and spiritual sense. It is also a way of welcoming Goddess Lakshmi into one’s home.
Puja and Prayers: In the evening, a special puja is performed to worship Lord Dhanvantari and Lord Kubera. Devotees offer flowers, incense, and sweets as a token of their reverence. Mantras and hymns are chanted to invoke blessings.
Buying Gold and Utensils: Buying gold, silver, or new utensils is a common practice on Dhanteras. It is believed that this act will bring prosperity and good luck to the family. Many people purchase these items and consider it an investment in their financial well-being.
Exchanging Gifts: Dhanteras is also a time for exchanging gifts and sweets among family members and friends. It reinforces bonds and signifies good wishes for one another.
Fasting: Some individuals observe a day-long fast on Dhanteras and break it after the evening puja. It is a way to purify the body and soul and to seek blessings from the deities
The second day is celebrated as Chhoti Diwali (Narak Chaturdashi):
Choti Diwali, also known as Narak Chaturdashi, falls on the fourteenth day of Kartik’s dark fortnight. It is a day when Lord Krishna defeats the demon Narakasura, freeing the world from his tyranny. People celebrate Choti Diwali by lighting oil lamps and bursting firecrackers to symbolize the victory of light over darkness.
Diwali (Main Festival) The third day of Diwali is the main festival day. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm and is marked by the worship of Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Families light oil lamps, or diyas, and decorate their homes with colorful rangoli designs. Fireworks light up the night sky, and people exchange gifts and sweets with their loved ones.
Govardhan Puja (Padwa): The fourth day of Diwali is known as Govardhan Puja or Padwa. Govardhan Puja, also known as Annakut or Bali Pratipada, is a significant Hindu festival celebrated with great fervor throughout India. This festival holds profound religious and cultural significance and is observed with devotion and enthusiasm. In this article, we will explore the origins, rituals, and spiritual essence of Govardhan Puja.
The Legend of Govardhan Puja
Govardhan Puja is celebrated on the day following Diwali, which is the first day of the bright fortnight in the Hindu month of Kartik (typically falling in October or November). This festival is linked to a fascinating legend from the ancient Hindu scriptures.
According to the Bhagavata Purana, Lord Krishna, during his childhood in Vrindavan, discouraged the people of the village from performing grand offerings and sacrifices to Lord Indra, the god of rain. Instead, he convinced them to worship the Govardhan Hill, a sacred mountain that provided them with sustenance through its lush green pastures and abundant crops.
It commemorates the lifting of Govardhan Hill by Lord Krishna to protect the people of Vrindavan from the wrath of Lord Indra, the god of rain. Devotees create small hillocks from cow dung and worship them, signifying their gratitude for the sustenance provided by the land. It is also a day for couples to celebrate their relationship, similar to the festival of Karva Chauth.
The fifth and final day of Diwali is called Bhai Dooj. This day celebrates the bond between siblings, particularly the love between brothers and sisters. Sisters pray for their brothers’ well-being and apply a tika (a colored mark) on their foreheads, while brothers give gifts to their sisters as a token of their love and protection. It is a day of familial bonding and love. Bhai Dooj is a significant Hindu festival that celebrates the unique bond between brothers and sisters. It falls on the second day after Diwali, which is the Festival of Lights. Bhai Dooj is a day for siblings to come together, express their love and affection for one another, and strengthen the familial ties that bind them.
This article explores the history, customs, and significance of Bhai Dooj. Bhai Dooj is a time for family gatherings, strengthening the bond between siblings, and celebrating the love and respect they have for each other. It is a day of joy and festivity, and the customs and traditions may vary from region to region. It is also believed to reinforce the relationship between brothers and sisters and symbolizes the sacred and loving bond they share. The celebration of ‘Bhai Phonta’ is similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan. The brothers are invited for a lavish meal by the sisters. The festival signifies a brother’s vow to protect his sister from any harm whereas the sister prays for the welfare of her brother.
Diwali is a time for reflection, gratitude, and renewal. It brings families and communities together, as they light up their lives and homes with the radiance of lamps and candles, symbolizing the victory of goodness and the dispelling of darkness. The five days of Diwali represent different aspects of this profound celebration, making it one of the most cherished and meaningful festivals in Hindu culture. People of the Sikh religion also celebrate this day as Bandi Chhor divas on this day 6th guru Hargovind Singh returned from Gwalior fort jail followed by 52 kings. on this occasion Amritsar city is lit with lights to welcome him for Jains this day is celebrated as the day of enlightenment Mahavira got liberation on this day which is moksha
In conclusion, the five days of Diwali offer a multifaceted experience, blending religious and cultural traditions, family gatherings, feasts, and the lighting of lamps and firecrackers. It’s a time for reflection, renewal, and the reaffirmation of values such as love, unity, and the victory of light over darkness. Diwali signifies hope, positivity, and the triumph of good, making it a cherished festival for people of all ages.
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