Deepavali or Diwali is the biggest of all Hindu festivals. Diwali is a Festival of Lights. The word Diwali means “cluster of lights or row of lights”.Diwali is a time of holiday feasting and family visits.
The significance of Diwali is that, it removes the darkness and brings light to the life. Festival is celebrated to enjoy the happy moments of vanquishing of the demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna, the triumph of good over Evil!It is also celebrated to commemorate the victory of good over the evil, when Lord Rama defeated Ravana and rescued his wife Sita from his custody..Diwali is a festival where people from all age groups participate. People prepare themselves for the festival weeks ahead, by cleaning and decorating their premises.They give expression to their happiness by lighting earthen 'diyas' (lamps), decorating the houses, bursting firecrackers and inviting near and dear ones to their households.
Diwali is celebrated for Five days.Dhanteras, the first day of the five-day festival - Diwali - is considered auspicious to purchase jewelry and utensils made of silver. People shop for cutlery made of silver, steel, copper and other metals. The business of gold and silver coins is also at the peak, during the festive season.
The Second day of the festival Naraka Chaturdasi marks the vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama.On this day Crackers are burst during the night time in northern parts of India, while in southern parts of the country choti Diwali is celebrated early in the morning. Crackers are traditionally burst to ward off the evil spirits.
Amavasya, the third day of Deepavali /Diwali , marks the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth in her most benevolent mood, fulfilling the wishes of her devotees. It is said that Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth, roams the earth on this day and enters the house that is pure, clean and brightly illuminated. Therefore, people, before exchanging gifts and bursting crackers, offer prayers to the deity.Young and old, men and women, all dress up in new clothes on this dayPeople offer sweets,savories,snacks,coconut and puffed rice as naivedyam to goddess Lakshmi. People also offer silver or gold coins,and jewelries to the deities.The general things needed for a diwali puja are silver and gold coins, suparis, uncooked Rice, paan leaves, kumkum for applying tilak, mithaai (Indian sweets), camphor, agarbattis (incense sticks), dry fruit (almonds, cashews), flower petals and Lakshmi-Ganesh icon. Once the offering and individual Pooja is over, people do aarti for welcoming the god in to their home and thanking them for being kind to their family till now. Ganesh Aarti is followed by Lakshmi Aarti. The aarti thali is then taken in each room of the home to purify the entire home. After the aarti is over, the process of lighting diyas in the entire home begins. After the lighting is done, people take the ‘prasad’ and burst crackers.. The houses would be decorated beautifully with thorans, flower garlands, strings of colorful LED lights, oil lamps,diyas. Women make beautiful patterns of rangoli, on their living room floors and the front entrances, using vibrant colors of rice powder.Fireworks are one of the major attractions of Diwali.Not only Children but people of all ages from children to the old one - enjoy bursting crackers on the occasion.
During the festive season, almost all the kitchens of the Indian household are filled with the enticing aroma of sweets, savories which are prepared to exchange with neighborhoods,friends and relatives.Exchange of gifts and sweets is a good old tradition of Diwali.
Fourth day of Deepawali — Kartika Shudda Padyami that Bali steps out of hell and rules the earth according to the boon given by Lord Vishnu.The first day of the month Kartik is a full "muhurta", or auspicious day. This is New Year's Day for merchants.
PADWA -The Fourth day is also called Padwa. Men present gifts to their wives on this day.
The fifth day is referred to as Bhai Dooj (Brother-Sister Ritual) and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes. when sisters show their love by putting an auspicious tilak on the forehead of their brothers and perform an aarti of him by showing him the light of the holy flame as a mark of love and protection from evil forces. Sisters are lavished with gifts, goodies and blessings from their brothers. It's an opportunity for a good feast at the sister's place, coupled with an enthusiastic exchange of gifts.
I am sending them to the following events-
1.Diwali contest 2009' by Priya of Priya'feast
2. Festive food -Diwali dhamaka by purva