It is Diwali time but we usually say it is the festive season. It is not without a reason that this time is called the festive season because we are going to be celebrating five festivals, one after the other. The festivals and their importance are given below
The first day of Diwali is known as Dhanteras or Dhan Trayodashi. Dhanteras is marked as a very significant day for all the people as it is the day of wealth and prosperity this will be celebrated on 1st November, 2013. Traditionally, this is a day for cleaning up homes and discarding all things old. Traditionally people buy some form of metal. It may be gold or silver or maybe even a utensil for their home. This is because it is believed as they that buying "Dhan" (asset) in some form of metal will bring luck and prosperity for the family. However cutlery is a no, no. All the things that are bought on this day are worshipped on the day of Diwali.
Businessmen perform Dhanteras puja by worshipping their "bahi-khatas" (accounts books).
A large diya is lighted in front of the main entrance of homes.
It is firmly believed that Dhanteras is celebrated in the adoration of the Lord of death “Yamraj”.
Narak Chaturdashi - Chhoti Diwali
After Dhanteras, the festival of Narak Chaturdashi is celebrated. This year it is falling on 2nd November. Narak Chaturdashi is also known as Chhoti Diwali or Lakshmi Puja Amavasya. In fact, many of the people recognize this day with the name of Chhoti Diwali only. The main purpose of celebrating Narak Chaturdashi is to pay tribute to the victory of Lord Krishna over a devil named Narakasur. On this day too, diyas and candles are lightened in the evening.
This is the main day of celebration. Deepawali (Diwali) in 2013 is on November 3. People decorate their homes with beautiful lights, flowers, rangolis and other decorative items. Also, the homes are cleaned as Goddess Lakshmi is invited home by people on the day of Diwali. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi visits each home and blesses us with all the happiness.
There is a great deal of celebration throughout the day. People bring home Ganesh and Lakshmi idols. People visit each other and exchange gifts. In the evenings people perform Lakshmi puja after which diyas and candles are lighted. Young and old enjoy themselves by bursting crackers.
As we all know Diwali is celebrated to commemorate Ram’s return to Ayodhya .It is also symbolic of victory of good over evil and light over darkness.
Annakut - Govardhan Puja – Kali Puja - Vishwakarma Puja
The next day of Diwali is celebrated in the name of various Gods and Goddess in different regions. Some people celebrate it as Annakut or Govardhan or Kali Puja or Vishwakarma Puja.
Annakut refers to a special kind of dish prepared using a variety of vegetables. It is distributed as Prasad in temples along with puri, curry and rice.
In Bengal this day is celebrated as Kali Puja.
The mythology has it that Lord Krishna saved the people of his village from heavy rains by lifting a great mountain, the Govardhan parvat on his little finger on this day. Govardhan puja is done in the honor of Nature and the victory of Lord Krishna over Indra devta. The enthusiasm of the festival can mainly be witnessed in the city of Mathura.
Vishwakarma Day is celebrated to worship Vishwakarma a Hindu god.
The festival is observed primarily in factories and industrial areas, often on the shop floor. Vishwakarma is known to be the divine engineer and the divine architect since the Puranic age. As a mark of reverence he is worshipped not only by the engineering and architectural community, but also by all professionals. Artisans, craftsmen, mechanics, smiths, welders, industrial workers, factory workers, and workers of all kinds worship Lord Vishwakarma on this day. They pray for a better future & safe working conditions and above all success in their respective fields. Workers also pray for the smooth functioning of tools and machines. It is customary for craftsmen to worship their tools in name of Lord Vishwakarma. Workers refrain from using the tools on this day.
Special statues and pictures of Lord Vishwakarma are normally installed in every workplace and factory. All workers gather in one common place and perform the puja.
Bhaiya Duj - Yama Dwitya
The last day of Diwali celebrations is celebrated as Bhaiya Duj or Yama Dwitya, which this year is on 5th November 2013. A special occasion for brothers and sisters. All the brothers are invited to the home of their sisters on the day of Bhai Dooj. It is a ritual to put a tilak on the forehead of the brother. Sisters pray for their brother’s long life & well being. In return brothers bless their sisters and give her a present with a promise to protect her forever.
The festival of Bhai Dooj came into existence due to a promise made by the Lord Yam to his sister Yami. Yami invited Yam to her home to meet and gave him a grand welcome. Delighted with the warm welcome, Yam promised her that this day will be celebrated till eternity.
Thus ends the festival season of Diwali which is a blend of five festivals. Each of the five days is celebrated with great zeal.
A very happy Diwali festival to all of you.