India is well known around the world for its traditional and cultural festivals. There are so many festivals celebrated in India, that one can enjoy festival celebration each and every month. People from each religion have their own cultural and traditional festivals. Every festival has it’s own story, its heroes and it’s significance. India is diverse, she has people of various religions like Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, Christian etc. However, 79.8% of 1.2 billion people in India are Hindus, according to the census data.
There are various Hindu festivals like Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Holi, Onam, Kumbh Mela, Navratra and many others. The one festival which stands our is Deepawali or Diwali. A five day festival usually celebrated in the month of November has now International Importance and people all around the world celebrate this beautiful festival together.
Diwali, popularly referred to as “Festival of Lights” is the glorious occasion when everyone is in a festive mood. Like every other festival of India, Diwali has its own stories from Mythology. Let’s discuss why is Diwali exactly celebrated.
This year Diwali falls on 19th November.
Return of Shri Ram to Ayodhya
Probably, the most famous story behind Deepawali. This story is about the prince of Ayodhya Nagri - Lord Shri Ram. The history says that the King of Lanka, Ravana, kidnapped Ram’s wife Sita from a jungle. They used to live in the jungle according to the instructions given by King Dasaratha, father of Lord Ram. So, Lord Ram attacked King Ravana to free Sita from Ravana's custody. A war took place and Lord Ram defeated Ravana. This was a great deal for all the people of Ayodhya because for them Lord Ram was their prince and Sita was their Devi. People all over Ayodhya celebrated this victory by lighting diyas in their homes and everywhere else. From that day, we celebrate Lord Rama's victory and it’s a lesson for us that light triumphs over dark and good triumphs over evil.
The story behind Lakshmi Pujan
Every year, on the auspicious new moon day, which is called as ‘Amavasya’ if the Hindi month of Kartik, the goddess of wealth & prosperity Lakshmi was incarnated. Some believe that she appeared during the churning of the ocean, which is known as ‘Samudra Manthan’ by the demons of one side and ‘Devatas’ on the other side. Since that day, the Lakshmi Pujan where people worship the Goddess Lakshmi became a tradition.
The return of The Pandavas
This is not a common story and many people have no clue about this one. The great Hindu epic ‘Mahabharata’ tells us about this story which is related to the ‘Kartik Amavasya’. According to this story, ‘The Pandavas’ the five brothers Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva were sentenced to thirteen years exile because they were defeated against ‘the Kauravas’ at the game of dice. Because of this, the Pandavas spent thirteen years in the jungles and returned to their kingdom on the day of ‘Kartik Amavasya’. The same happened on their return. The people of their kingdom welcomed the Pandavas by celebrating the event by lightning the earthen lamps all over in the city.
Coronation of King Vikramaditya
This is another story about Diwali celebrations and it relates to one of the greatest Hindu King Vikramaditya. It was this day when he was coroneted and people celebrated this event by lightning tiny earthen ‘diyas’.
I hope this article was able to inculcate the message of good over evil and light over dark.