- By Shalini K, 31 October 2020 | 5 MIN READ
Diwali the festivals of light is mentioned in Padma Purana, the Skanda Purana, and other Sanskrit Hindu scriptures; the divas (lamps) are cited in Skanda Purana symbolically represent parts of the sun, the cosmic powerhouse of energy to all life.
The festivity of Diwali is the "victory of good over evil", refers to the light of higher knowledge dispelling all ignorance – Light over spiritual darkness, wisdom over ignorance, right over wrong, good over evil.
Diwali has many contexts and varies regionally within India, varying on the school of Hindu philosophy, regional myths, legends, and beliefs.
Many see Diwali as the return of Lord Rama, his wife Sita, and brother Lakshmana from exile, while for some Diwali marks the return of Pandavas after 12 years of Vanvas and one year of agyatavas from the epic Mahabharata. Diwali is also linked to the celebration of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and wife of deity Vishnu.
The festival of Diwali starts on the day Lakshmi was born from the cosmic ocean of milk during the tug of war between good and evil; some believers offer pujas to additional or alternate deities such as Kali, Ganesha, Saraswati, and Kubera. And many believe that Diwali is the day Vishnu returned to Lakshmi and their abode in the Vaikuntha. The worship of Lakshmi is performed for mental, physical, and material well-being during the year ahead.
The Regional Significance
In India's eastern region, especially in West Bengal, the deity Kali is worshipped, and the festival is called Kali Puja. In north-central regions, the deity Krishna is recognized. In other provinces, the feast of Annakoot is offered to Lord Krishna with 56 or 108 different cuisines and then shared by the local community.
In West, South, and certain Northern parts of India, the festival of Diwali marks a new Hindu year. Along with Goddess Lakshmi, offerings are made to Ganesha, Saraswati, and Kubera. Interestingly, Kubera symbolizes bookkeeping, treasury, and wealth management.
Jains celebrate Diwali as a day of remembering Mahavira. Lord Mahavira, the last of the Jain Tirthankar of this era, attained Nirvana on this very day at Pavapuri on 15 October 527 BCE – illuminating the darkness, is marked as Diwali.
Bandi Chhor Divas marks Diwali for the Sikhs when Guru Har Gobind Ji freed himself and Hindu Kings, from Fort Gwalior, from Jahangir, and arrived at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Ever since then, Sikhs celebrate Bandi Choorh Divas with fireworks and other festivities.
Diwali is also a celebration of sounds and sights with fireworks and rangoli designs; with numerous mithai (sweets, desserts), and good food that brings family and friends together every year.
Dhanteras a five-day festival becoming very popular these days especially with many offers from business houses and on online purchases. Starting days before Dhanteras, houses and business premises are cleaned, renovated, and decorated. Entrances are decorated with Rangoli and lighting and with creative colorful designs both inside and in the walkways of their homes or offices.
Diwali is celebrated across Globe
Diwali is celebrated across the world, especially in countries with significant Hindu, Jain, and Sikh populations. Countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, the Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and the United States all celebrate Diwali. Global migration of people of Indian origin is the reason for Diwali celebrations in many countries.
The Market Share of Diwali
Diwali is a huge shopping opportunity for the public in general. Diwali is the equivalent of Christmas in the west. Every household purchase new clothing, home refurbishments, gifts, gold, and other large purchases. Diwali is the occasion for buying gold and jewelry in India. It is also a major firework buying season. A whopping US$ 800 million (INR 5,000 crores) worth of firecrackers is consumed in India over the Diwali season.
Diwali symbolizes the spiritual "victory of light over darkness. One of the most popular festivals of India – an auspicious festival that symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. Stunning lights, firecrackers, irresistible traditional sweets, and exchanging gifts
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