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A Comprehensive Guide to the Five Days of Diwali Celebration: When, Why, and the Fascinating Stories| Diwali Festival Traditions and Significance

Diwali, the festival of lights, is widely celebrated across India and by the global Hindu community. Spanning five days, each day holds significant symbolism, representing various beliefs, rituals, and captivating stories. Let's embark on a journey through the beautiful tapestry of the Diwali festival, delving into the essence, significance, and stories behind each day to gain a deeper understanding of the customs, stories, and significance behind this vibrant celebration.

Day 1: Dhanteras

When: Dhanteras commences the Diwali celebrations, occurring two days before Diwali on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Kartik.

Why: On Dhanteras, people pay homage to Lord Dhanvantari, the god of Ayurveda, and Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth and prosperity. Homes are cleaned, doorways adorned with colorful rangolis, and oil lamps or diyas are lit to invite prosperity and happiness. Purchasing gold, silver, utensils, or other valuable items symbolizes a welcome to wealth and blessings into their lives.

Day 2: Naraka Chaturdashi or Kali Chaudas or Choti Diwali

When: Following Dhanteras is Naraka Chaturdashi or Kali Chaudus, also known as Choti Diwali, falling on the fourteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Kartik.

Why: Naraka Chaturdashi is linked to the legend of Lord Krishna defeating the demon Narakasura, restoring peace and righteousness. Some regions honor Goddess Kali, signifying the victory of good over evil. Ritual oil baths, application of kumkum or oil symbolizing victory, lighting lamps, and sharing sweets and savories are customary, representing the triumph of light over darkness.

Day 3: Diwali Day

When: The third and central day of Diwali falls on Amavasya, the new moon day of the Hindu month of Kartik.

Why: This day commemorates the return of Lord Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana to Ayodhya after their 14-year exile and the triumph of good over evil with the defeat of the demon king Ravana. The lighting of diyas and bursting of fireworks signify jubilation and the eradication of darkness. It also symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and the awakening of the inner self. Families come together, prepare lavish meals, share sweets, exchange gifts, and visit temples, creating a joyous atmosphere ushering in light and positivity into everyone's lives.

Day 4: Govardhan Puja, New Year, Vishwakarma Puja

When: The day after Diwali is celebrated diversely across various regions. It is observed as New Year in some parts of India and as Govardhan Puja or Vishwakarma Puja in others.

Why: Govardhan Puja, in some regions, honors the day Lord Krishna saved the residents of Vrindavan from Lord Indra's anger by lifting the Govardhan Hill. People offer food, worship cows, and create replicas of the hill from cow dung. This day also marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year in some areas and is dedicated to Lord Vishwakarma, the divine architect.

Day 5: Bhai Dooj

When: The fifth and final day of Diwali, Bhai Dooj, occurs on the second day after the new moon in the Hindu month of Kartik.

Why: Bhai Dooj, or Bhau Beej, celebrates the beautiful bond between siblings. Sisters perform aarti for their brothers, applying tilak on their foreheads and praying for their well-being. In return, brothers vow to protect their sisters. The exchange of gifts and sweets strengthens their affectionate relationship.

In essence, the five days of Diwali signify not only the victory of good over evil but also exemplify various cultural and regional traditions. This auspicious time weaves together stories, customs, and traditions that unite families and communities in joyous celebrations, fostering unity, love, and togetherness. It is indeed a time of festivity, togetherness, and the triumph of light over darkness, radiating joy and positivity across the globe.

You can also watch our YouTube Video about the "Five Days of Diwali"

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