Diwali is one of the most significant and widely celebrated festivals in India, lasting for five days. Each day has its own traditions, customs, and rituals, and the festival represents various aspects of Indian culture and spirituality. Here's an overview of the five days of Diwali, from Dhanteras to Bhai Dooj:
Day 1 - Dhanteras:
Dhanteras marks the beginning of Diwali and falls on the 13th day of the dark fortnight in the Hindu month of Kartik. It is considered an auspicious day for wealth and prosperity.
People clean their homes and purchase gold, silver, or utensils, as it is believed that buying these items on Dhanteras brings good fortune.
In the evening, lamps and diyas are lit to welcome goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
Day 2 - Naraka Chaturdashi (Choti Diwali):
On this day, people prepare for the main Diwali celebration by cleaning and decorating their homes. They often create colorful rangoli designs at their doorsteps.
In some regions, this day is associated with the story of Lord Krishna's victory over the demon Narakasura, symbolizing the victory of good over evil.
Day 3 - Diwali (Main Festival):
The third day of Diwali is the main festival, celebrated with great enthusiasm. It is also known as Deepavali, the Festival of Lights.
People illuminate their homes with oil lamps, candles, and colorful electric lights. Fireworks are a significant part of the celebrations, and families come together to exchange gifts and sweets.
The lighting of lamps symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and the triumph of good over evil.
Day 4 - Govardhan Puja and Annakut:
This day is associated with various regional traditions. In North India, it is celebrated as Govardhan Puja, commemorating Lord Krishna's lifting of the Govardhan Hill to protect villagers from rain.
In some regions, people prepare an Annakut (mountain of food) by offering a variety of vegetarian dishes to deities, including Lord Krishna.
Day 5 - Bhai Dooj:
Bhai Dooj is the fifth and final day of Diwali, celebrated to honor the bond between brothers and sisters.
Sisters perform aarti (a religious ritual) for their brothers and apply a red tika (mark) on their foreheads. In return, brothers offer gifts and promise to protect their sisters.
This day emphasizes the importance of family relationships and the love between siblings.