The story of Diwali and its significance to devotees

Published: Oct 26, 2019, 09:02 IST | | Mumbai

The five-day festival begins with Dhanteras, followed by Chhoti Diwali, Diwali, Annakut and Bhai-dooj.

Representational Image
Representational Image

Diwali, the festival of lights, marks the prosperity and triumph of good over evil. It is celebrated as one of the joyous events of Ramayana, the return of Lord Rama, his wife Sita and brother Lakshman’s return to Ayodhya after a 14-year exile. This year, Diwali falls on October 27.

The five-day festival begins with Dhanteras, followed by Chhoti Diwali, Diwali, Annakut and Bhai-dooj.

On Dhanteras, devotees clean their homes and draw intricate rangoli designs on their doorstep to welcome Goddess Lakshmi, who is known as the goddess of wealth and prosperity. The day is considered auspicious to make purchases such as gold and silver jewellery. The second day is followed by Naraka Chaturdashi, popularly known as Chhoti Diwali, where the event of Lord Krishna killing the demon Narakasura is celebrated. And on the third day, which is Diwalim, Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped at every household celebrating the festival. This is the most awaited day of the five-day festival where friends and family unite in celebrations by bursting firecrackers and distributing sweets.

Then comes Annakut where people offer vegetarian food as to Lord Krishna, while the last day, bhai-dooj marks the end of the celebrations with women performing puja for their brothers. In some cultures, the brother visits his sister with gifts.

Food, firecrackers and more
For most, the exciting part about Diwali bursting firecrackers and lighting up their homes with earthen diyas, lanterns and fairy lights. The women customarily prepare faral, a sweet and salty collection of sweets and namkeen and distribute in the neighbourhood. As Diwali marks the beginning of the winter season, the sweets prepared for the occasion are heavy on dry fruits such as cashewnuts, almonds, pistachios and figs. Such treats are one of the most-awaited part of the festival that is widely relished among people.

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