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Diwali, popularly known as the festival of lights is one of the most popular festivals in India. Diwali signifies the triumph of good over evil forces in nature. The festival marks the grand home-coming of Shri Ram after his 14 years of exile. Diwali is celebrated with vim and brio in most parts of India. People enjoy this festive day by lighting sparkling diyas and candle. Different colorful varieties of fireworks, and exotic illustration of lights all around makes this festival worthy to remember. Laxmi Puja in the evening is also a remarkable part of this festival. The articles in this chapter discusses about Diwali and its significance.
The festival of lights, Diwali, is a very colourful celebration that is celebrated throughout India in different forms. This festival has been annually celebrated on the amavasya in the Hindu lunar month of Kartik. Diwali celebration commences two days in advance of the day and it continues for a total of five days. This is a time of gift giving and various gifts as well as sweets are exchanged between friends and families. There are also a variety of other customs and traditions that surround this festival which we follow. These rituals have deep cultural backgrounds behind them and they are filled with mythological prospects.
Importance of Diwali Rituals
The celebration of Diwali starts with the celebration of Dhanteras which is a celebration of wealth. However, we must keep in mind that the observance of Dhanteras is not a separate festival. It is only the first day of the celebration of Diwali and as such begins this five day long festive event.
The same is the case with the festival of Bhai Dooj that is celebrated two days after Diwali. Bhai Dooj ends the festivities of Diwali and it is a celebration of the sweet relationship between brothers and sisters. During Bhai Dooj, the sisters apply tilak on their brothers’ foreheads and pray for their prosperity and longevity.
Goddess Lakshmi is the reigning Goddess of this festival and a Lakshmi Puja is organised in most houses in the evening. On this occasion, it is actually the marak incarnation of the Goddess Lakshmi that is worshipped. It is believed that in this form Goddess Lakshmi is capable of destroying all kinds of evil and bring happiness.
It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi prefers clean houses and only enters such houses that are thoroughly clean. Therefore, a ritualistic cleaning of the house and workplace is carried out before the festival of Diwali. A broom is also kept nearby while the worship of Goddess Lakshmi is done as a symbol of cleanliness.
The lighting of diyas on this occasion is also a very fun event that everyone enjoys to do in the evening. Goddess Lakshmi prefers a house that is brightly lighted and that is why these diyas and candles are lit. Shri Ram returned to Ayodhya on this day with his wife and brother and the diyas are also burned as symbolic of this.
Beautiful decorative rangolis are also drawn all over the house on the occasion of Diwali by the family. Rangolis are created out of coloured powders while flowers of different colours are also used. It is said that these colourful representations hold the power to repel all kinds of negative energy.
Playing card games is also very customary for the festival of Diwali and many people opt for this. Goddess Parvati is believed to have played dice with Her husband Lord Shiva on this day and She won the game. In Her elation at winning the game, the Goddess decreed that anyone who indulges in playful gambling on this occasion will be blessed with wealth throughout the year.
Diwali Gift Ideas
This online gift store showcases a variety of Diwali mugs that you can send for your loved ones in India. The Personalized Dark Brown Colored Diwali Mug is in a dark brown colour and it can be personalised with your dear one’s image. Various kinds of Diwali essentials are also available on this online gifting portal that can be used for celebrating Diwali. The Diwali Crackers Combo is a collection of Diwali crackers that consist of sparklers, fire pencils, colourful bombs and flower pots. You can also send Diwali hampers for your family and friends on this occasion from this gifting site. The Diwali Sweets Thali is a Diwali mithai hamper having badam barfi and kaju phool on a handmade tray.
This Diwali can prove to be a very grand event for both you and your family as now you can relate even more to the customs. You can also send online gifts to India if you are away from your dear ones during this festive season. If you want to send gifts on other occasions like Dhanteras and Bhai Dooj then such gifts are also available here.
Diwali, the brightest and the grandest festival of India, is observed by all people across India with great enthusiasm and fervour. Diwali is a national festival in the true essence since people of all age groups, all regions and all religions celebrate this festival of lights with equal zeal. The auspicious occasion of Diwali holds significance for all religions and every region of India has their own legends and interpretations. But common to all practices is the custom of lighting every dwelling, every street and every corner with lighted diyas, lamps, candles, electric lights, bursting crackers and exchanging gifts between family, friends and relatives.
The lighting of the lamps symbolises obeisance to God for the attainment of peace, fortune and prosperity. The light stands for the symbol of the triumph of good over evil; of knowledge over ignorance and the initiation of the light of spirituality in our souls.
Diwali in Northern India is celebrated with sheer pomp and grandeur. However, different states have different customs and rituals. Starting from Ekadashi, the festival goes on till Amavasya. Shopping and buying new clothes, furniture, jewellery, utensils on the eve of Dhanteras mark the beginning of this festive celebration. People clean, paint and decorate their houses with various home decor, colourful rangolis and lighted diyas. Every nook and corner are lighted with diyas, candles and electric accessories and crackers are burst all through night. The elders of the family would keep a fast on Amavasya and break their fast after worshipping Goddess Lakshmi in the evening or night according to the initiation of the auspicious moment.
In Delhi, the capital city of India, Diwali is as grand as the city. Here, Diwali is associated with the victory of Lord Ram over the demon king Ravana. Ramlila, the dramatic enactment of the story of Ramayana, is staged around every street corner in Delhi during the Diwali celebrations. The celebration begins at Dussehra where people burn effigies of the evil Ravana. Varanasi during Diwali becomes the land of myriad lamps. All the ghats in Varanasi are lighted with diyas. In Punjab, winter crops are sown during this auspicious occasion.
People buy sweets and dry fruits and give them to their loved ones as Diwali gifts. Elder people also present cash to their loved young ones as gifts .
Maharashtra celebrates Diwali in a unique way. It is celebrated for five days.
The festival begins with Vasu Baras where married women worship cows that have calves and ends with Tulsi Vivah where people organize the marriage of the holy Tulsi plant in their houses. However, lighting diyas and celebrating light is also a part of Diwali celebrations in Maharashtra.
In Gujarat, the occasion of Diwali is observed with grandeur and gaiety. It begins on the 11th day of Krishna paksha in the month of Ashwin; 12th day is the ‘Vagh Baras’ which is similar to the Vasu Baras in Maharashtra; 13th day is Dhanteras; 14th day is ‘Kali Chaudas’ which is a custom of applying gram flour, kumkum and oil and take a bath before sunrise; the festival ends on the 15th day with Lakshmi and Ganesh puja in Gujarat. Diwali is also celebrated in a grand way in Rajasthan. Lighting diyas, bursting crackers, decorating houses, family and friends gathering and sumptuous treat mark the celebration.
In Southern India, the auspicious day of Diwali commemorates the vanquishment of Asura Naraka by Lord Krishna. Hence, the day is known as Naraka Chaturdashi. In the south, Diwali is celebrated in the Tamil month of Aipasi. The houses are washed and decorated with rangolis, known as kolam in Southern India. The pooja room is decorated with betel leaves, betel nuts, flowers, plantain fruits, sandal wood paste, turmeric, kumkum and gingelly oil. The next day diyas, candles are lighted and crackers are burst in the evening.
Karnataka observes the festival of Diwali to commemorate the vanquishment of King Bali by Lord Vishnu in his Vaman avatar. Celebrations are similar as that of Tamil Nadu. However, Kerala does not observe the festival of Diwali with the same fervour and excitement.
In West Bengal, the Bengalis worship Goddess Kali on this auspicious occasion. According to popular belief, the goddess destructs all evils. The festival of Diwali stretches for three days in Bengal. The day before Kali puja, Bengalis light candles in the evening in the memory of the departed souls of their ancestors. The main day is marked by lights, crackers, feasts and family gatherings. Celebrations in Assam and Bihar are also marked by lights, crackers and celebration. However, Orissa celebrates the festival in a unique manner. Before the Diwali eve, people in Orissa performs a small ritual that calls upon the spirits of the family's forefathers. Jute stems are burnt to light up the dark path that the spirits of the ancestors take back to return to heaven.
The festival of Diwali stands as a symbol of togetherness and cheerfulness. If you are staying abroad, you can make your presence felt during the auspicious occasion by sending relevant gifts to India. Connect with your loved ones in India this Diwali with special gifts and shower your love and affection on them from your far abode.
The word Diwali is derived from the word Deepavali that means 'rows of lights'. Deep means lights and avali means rows. So, this great Indian festival is also known as the 'Festival of lights'. This day marks the victory of good over evil or the darkness. The tradition of lighting thousands of earthen lamps symbolizes eliminating the darkness within by illuminating the soul with the light of positive energy and hope. The festival of Diwali has been considered significance as it empowers our hearts to connect to that world of ethereal supremacy. Dated back to the ancient times, Diwali in India is considered as one of the most important harvest festival. It also has a mythological significance as on this day Lord Rama returned to his homeland after fourteen years of exile. People of Ayodhya decked up the whole city by lighting diyas to welcome their dearest King Rama.
If you are wondering when is Diwali in 2011 then it falls on 26th October. Now, Diwali has transcended the national barriers and turned to be a grand festival celebrated all across the globe, the resonance of its past glory still rings in our hearts. On the darkest night of Amavasya or the New Moon day, the bright flames of the diyas strengthen our special bonds with our near and dear ones. Irrespective of caste, creed and colour, followers of all religion and ethics take part in this grand extravagant celebration of Diwali. This festival of enthusiasm is celebrated by decorating the houses with unique decorative, lighting beautiful earthen diyas and bursting firecrackers. Gifting is another inseparable part of this fantastic fiesta. Without the exchange of gifts Diwali celebration remains incomplete. Once you know when is Diwali, start preparing your gift list today.
Globalization has changed our lifestyles and career goals. The number of Indians living abroad is gradually increasing as foreign countries like UK or USA have been the most favourite offshore destination. For these people, celebrating Diwali and such other festivals with friends and families in India is not possible at all. For them the year long thread of communication is email or video chat. But, on this special time of festivity, these global Indians reinforce their bonds by sending gifts to India from US or any corner of the world. To cater this overseas gifting requirements, numerous web portals have emerged facilitating e-gifting. The newest means of sending gifts to any corner of this world, e-gifting enables people to send to the desired destination at the least possible time. Most of these portals have their own vast collection of gift items from which customers can choose and send gifts of their own choice. By availing this service of online shopping and sending gifts to their dear ones in India, Indians staying abroad have found a new way of conveying special wishes and greetings on Diwali 2011.
GiftstoIndia24x7.com is one such online gifting mall which flaunts its extensive collection of amazing gifts articles for its worldwide customers. Since 1999, this pioneer gifting portal has successfully delivering not only gifts but the emotions attached with these gifts too. One can easily send gifts to India this Diwali through this premier online shopping destination. From over 7000+ gifting items, choose the best one and send it to your loved ones to convey your heartfelt Diwali wishes. The gifts wrapped with those special message of love, can multiple the festive mood of your loved ones a thousand times. So, if you are missing your friend or a family member who has settled down their, send a beautiful gift and wish him/her a happy and prosperous Diwali. So, convey your deepest regards and wishes on Diwali by sending alluring gifts to India and make the occasion special as ever.
India is a nation that binds multiple races, castes, creeds and ethnic groups in a common chord of mutual respect, love and harmony. Festivals form the most integral part of Indian society. Filling the air with vibrant colors, the colossal churches, temples and mosques, threshold of the houses illuminated with rows of lamps, traditional attires, folklore, singing and dances and unwavering jubilance mark the festival in India. The concept of 'unity in diversity' encompasses all the festivals, making India a land that upholds multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious harmony.
Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is one of the most auspicious festivals celebrated in India with full vim and brio. Diwali is known as the festival of lights. Diwali is celebrated on the last day of the last month of lunar calendar. According to the Hindu calender, last day of the last month of lunar calendar is 'Amavasya' (No moon Day). If you are wondering when is Diwali in 2011 then it is on 26th October. Triumph of the good over the evil and ascendancy of wealth and prosperity is the main essence of the festival.
Essentially, Diwali is a five-day long festival. The first day of Diwali is known as 'Dhanteras' or 'Dhan Trayodashi'. Dhanteras is referred to as “Yamadeepdaan”. To mark the occasion, lamps are kept illuminated throughout the night, in reverence of Yama, the God of Death. The festival of Dhanteras is also celebrated to honor the Dhanavanthri, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. On this day, people decorate their houses and workplaces, make traditional 'Rangoli' motifs on the entrance, to welcome Goddess Lakshmi. It is considered auspicious to buy gold and silver on this day.
The second day of the festival is 'Narak Chaturdashi', or 'Chhoti Diwali'. According to mythology, the demon Narakasura was killed by Lord Krishna on this day. On the other hand, Bengalis believe that Goddess Kali killed the demon Raktavija on this day. Different traditions are followed on this day in different parts of the country. However, a custom that is followed unanimously on this day is bursting of crackers. People light diyas and lamps and adorns their houses.
The third day is the main day of the Diwali called 'Badi Diwali'. It is the day when Goddess Laxmi is worshiped and offered "Naivedya". It is believed that on this day, Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya from exile after defeating the demon of Lanka, Ravana. On the eve of Diwali, every corner of the house are illuminated with earthen diyas, lamps and candles. Colorful 'Rangoli' motifs are used to beautify and decorate the entrances of the houses. This practice of beautifying the floor of the entrance is practiced as a tradition of welcoming Goddess Lakshmi who is believed to bestow the people of the house with wealth and prosperity.
The next day, that is the fourth day is 'Govardhan-Puja' or 'Annakoot'. In home, usually 56 different food items are prepared and arranged in a thali and are placed before Lord Krishna. The fifth and the last day is Bhai Dooj. This occasion has a number of traditions associated with it. However, the tradition of putting a tilak of roli (vermilion), kesar (saffron) and rice on the brother's forehead by their sister as a mark of their love and protection, is observed everywhere.
Exchanging gifts on this holy occasion holds a special place. However, there are a number of Indians who reside offshore and cannot be with their families on Diwali 2011. On such a predicament, they often seek aid of the advanced technology available. Thanks to the advancement of internet that these NRIs can send a gift to their loved ones in India, online. There are a multiple online gifting portals that facilitates e-gifting to India. Online gifting is less time consuming, and one may browse through a thousand gift articles with recurring clicks of the mouse. Easy payment process, secured payment gateways, proficient delivery service and the option to track the status of the order placed - all these make e-gifting a hassle-free affair to send gifts to India.
Not only helping the global NRIs with the service to send gifts to India, these e-gifting websites also aid the families in India to send gifts to abroad. Those who have their dear ones settled abroad, can now send gifts to India from US. Enfolded with the selfless affection, love and best wishes, these gifts will surely convey the heartfelt emotions to them.
Diwali is the celebration of illuminating one’s own soul with the light of hope and positive energy. It brings people together in spite of religious, cultural, social or geographical barriers. With passing time, the mode of Diwali celebration have undergone several changes, yet the spirit of this auspicious festival remains the same.Since you known when is Diwali, enjoy this festival with joy and gaiety.
Diwali, perhaps the most awaited grand festival in India, is celebrated by every citizen of this country with same great zeal, enthusiasm and gaiety. It has crossed the socio-religious, cultural and even the geographical barrier successfully years ago. People of all age groups and all religions take part in this grandeur spontaneously and thus make it a national festival in true sense. People residing outside India celebrate this festival in their own way and get in touch with their families by sending Diwali gifts to India. So if you know when is Diwali in 2011 then you can delight your loved ones by sending gifts to India.
Northern India: In this part of India, myth behind Diwali celebrations is the victory of Rama over Ravana. People of North India still continuing this tradition by burning huge effigies of Ravana. Buying of new clothes, shopping, cleaning and whitewashing home are the primary steps of celebration. On Dhanteras, purchasing of any utensil or jewellery or coins are must for the Delhi folk. Ramlila is performed in every street corners and continued for several evenings. Varanasivasi also celebrates Diwali. Ghats of Beneras come alive with thousands of burning diyas. For the people of Jammu & Kashmir, Diwali is the oldest ritual. A tradition of keeping a fast and worshiping Goddess Lakshmi are done by the elders of the family. Apart from traditional Diwali celebration, Punjab celebrate the occasion in honour to memorialize the release of Guru Hargobind Ji from the prison at Gwalior Fort. Thus they light up the entire Golden temple which makes it looking out of the world. People residing outside India convey their warm wishes to their family by sending Diwali gifts to India.
Southern India: In Southern India, Naraka Chaturdashi is the main day of Diwali celebrated with firecrackers at dawn after performing Lakshmi puja. The next day is new moon day when oil lamps are lit around the house. Third day is Balipadyami, the day of Vamana's triumph over Mahabali. Karnataka experiences a fascinating Diwali celebration as it is a traditional festival there. Diwali in Kerala is a low key festival where beautifully dressed men, women and children visit temples and offer pujas to the God on this day. In the spirit of celebration in this festive season sending a chosen gift to India can bring smile on the face of your loved ones.
Eastern India: Bengalis celebrate “Deepabali” in their unique way as a part of Kali Puja i.e. worship of Goddess Kali. Bengalis light candles in memory of the souls of their departed ancestors. Diwali in Assam has different essence with burning diyas, mithais, decorating doorways with flower garlands, marigolds and mango leaves. In Bihar, Choti Diwali is celebrated on the day before the Diwali. Orissa also celebrates Diwali in the traditional way by lighting diyas. But one ritual that makes Diwali in Orissa unique is that the members of the family burn Jute stems by illuminating the dark path through which the spirits of their ancestors come and then go back to heaven.
Western India: In Maharashtra Diwali is a five day long festival starting from Vasubaras, the 13th day of the Ashwin month. An Aarti of the cow and its calf is performed symbolizing the love between a mother and her child. The next day is Dhanteras or Dhanatrayodashi, a significant day for businessmen and traders. Then the family together enjoys a feast on Faral, a special preparation using delectable sweets and some spicy eatables. On the second day, Laxmi pooja, new account books are opened. Third day is known as Padwa, the first day of the new month Kartik, and the fifth day is Bhaubeej, the day celebrating the brother-sister relationship but unlike Raksha Bandhan it is dedicated to sisters. Gujarat celebrates Diwali in a grand way. Here it commences from aaso vad Agyaras to dev Diwali. Gujaratis create colorful rangolis in their verandas depicting deities related to this festival. On the second day of Diwali, each and every people of Western region perform Lakshmi and Ganesha puja. Fireworks and light works make the whole area looking spectacular from above.
Now a days, Diwali, a festival synonymous with celebrations in India and also among Indians scattered all over the world, is an occasion for togetherness and merriment. Millions of non-residential Indian find a chance to connect with their family by sending gifts to India from US. To fill up their absence in this merrymaking they send beautiful exclusive gifts on Diwali 2011.