Diwali is a time to be grateful and cherish your friends and family. It is a traditional Indian festival that has such a broad and far reach that spans across the globe. The festival of lights is a holiday of love and abundance, of peace and freedom, of the triumph of good over evil and this year, we will celebrate Diwali on the 24th of October. At Mauli Rituals, we cherish the time and the five days of Diwali to be replenished and blessed.

What Is Diwali?

Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, celebrates the triumph of light over dark and good over evil. It also shines a light and celebrates the beauty of the blessings received through freedom and enlightenment.

The name comes from Sanskrit dipavali, meaning “row of lights.” During the night of Diwali, people light candles and clay lamps and place them all over their homes and the streets to shine light throughout the darkness. This is to represent goodness and that light helps to overcome any darkness.

Who Celebrates Diwali?

Diwali is an Indian holiday and is celebrated by followers of the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain faiths. The holiday is widely celebrated throughout India, Singapore, and several other countries as a national holiday. Hindu, Sikh, and Jain communities around the world, including England, America, and Australia, will also celebrate Diwali.

Regardless of where the community is in the world, the festival will be celebrated and cherished. But due to Diwali’s large reach across the world and religions, traditions and rituals may vary but the main celebrations of family and light remain at the centre of it.

What Are The Five Days of Diwali?

For most people throughout India, Diwali is a five-day celebration with the third day containing the peak of the festivities. Throughout the five days, there is a focus on connection and family, accepting blessings and love from the gods and loved ones.

Here is a general outline of what to expect over the five days:

Day 1:  Dhanteras

This is the day we celebrate abundance and the Goddess Lakshmi. This is the day to prepare your home, cleaning and decorating ahead of the festivities. As well as buying gifts and preparing food to share with family and friends.

Day 2: Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali

The second day is Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali. People wake up early and apply aromatic oils on them before taking a bath. This ritual is to remove any sins and impurities from your body and soul, ahead of Diwali.

On this day everyone changes into new and fresh clothes, offers Puja and enjoys lighting diyas and bursting a few crackers.

Day 3: Lakshmi Puja

This day marks the main celebration of Diwali. It takes place when the sky is at its darkest on the day of the new moon. Lakshmi Puja is performed on this day. It is believed that the Goddess Lakshmi enters people’s homes and blesses them with good fortune. Families celebrate by exchanging gifts and eating a wonderful abundance of food.

Then candles, clay lamps, and oil lanterns are lit and placed throughout the home, in the streets, in areas of worship, and floated on lakes and rivers. Also, fireworks are set off to ward off evil spirits. 

Day 4: Govardhan Puja or Padva

The fourth day is Govardhan Puja or Padva. It is the day when Lord Krishna defeated Indra by lifting the huge Govardhan Mountain. People make a small hillock, usually of cow dung, symbolising Govardhan and worship it.

Traditions vary on this day but for some, it also celebrates the bond of marriage. Gifts can be exchanged between husband and wife.

Day 5: Bhai Dooj

The fifth and last day is Bhai Dooj. This day celebrates the bond between siblings, mainly between a brother and a sister.

On this day sisters invite their brothers for a lavish meal and perform a ‘tilak’ ceremony. Sisters pray for their brother’s long and happy life while the brothers give gifts to their sisters.

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James Oakley