Diwali History and Significance

(Last Updated On: December 17, 2018)

Diwali History and Significance

Diwali, also known as Deepawali, is one of the most important and biggest festivals of India. The festival gets its name from the row or avail or clay lamps or deepam that Hindus light outside their houses. These lamps symbolize the inner light of positive soul that protects from spiritual darkness.

History of Diwali

The history of this festival is replete with legends, and such legends are related to stories of Hindu religious scriptures mostly the Puranas. The central theme of the legends point out to the classic truth of the victory of truth and good over the evils, the way they are presented and characters differ.

Over the centuries, the festival has been celebrated and has become a national festival that is enjoyed by most of the Indians be it Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs.

The history of Diwali differs depending on the story and location it is celebrated.

  • Hindus celebrate Diwali believing in the story of King Ram who returned Ayodhya after 14 years of Banwas and killing Ravana. His path was lighted with rows of caly lamps by the villagers in order to show him a safe path towards in the dark towards his kingdom.
  • The festival is also celebrated in Southern India on the basis of the belief of story that Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura.
  • The people in Western India celebrate Diwali as it marks the day that Lord Vishnu, the Preserver as well as one of the main gods of Hindu Trinity sent the demon King Bali to rule the world.
  • Sikh community celebrates Diwali in the perspective of return of the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji from the city Gwalior. The festival is celebrated to commemorate his eternal love for Sikkhism. Usually, there is the immense lighting of candles in Harmandir Sahib or the famous Golden Temple in his honor.
  • The festival is even celebrated among Jains. On this occasion, the Jains celebrate the Nirvana of Lord Mahavira who established the Jainism dharma. During this day, Lord Mahavira was born as Vardhamana on the day of Chaitra Shukla. He gained Kevala Gyana on Vishakha Shukla 10 at the jambhraka village and on the banks of the river at the age of 42.

In all stories and beliefs, the festival marks the victory of good over bad or evil.

The Five Days of Diwali Celebration

The festival is a five-day celebration, with the first day called as Dhanvantari Triodasi or Dhanteras. The second day of the festival is known as Narak Chaturdasi where 11 candles are lit in the evening. The third day is Diwali itself where Lord Lakshmi is worshipped in every home and place. The fourth day of Diwali is marked as Goverdhan Puja, while the fifth day called as Yama Dvitiya, is celebrated as Bhai Dooj.

This five-day celebration is truly joyous and each day has a special significance. The entire festival of Diwali signifies the celebration of wealth and prosperity. The festival of Diwali symbolizes rise, shine, unity, progress, and prosperity.

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