Significance of Deepavali: 5 interesting things about the festival
Why is Diwali so important?
Every year, we wait excitedly for Diwali and celebrate the festival with great pomp and cheer. But how many of us really know the actual significance of this popular festival? Well, I didn’t, till sometime back. And when my son asked me a lot of 'Why's', I could only mumble, "I'll get back to you." So what ensued was my search for the importance behind the brightest festival, so that I could feed a few curious minds. If you’re curious too, find out the spiritual significance behind the rituals of the festival of lights. Start GALLERY.
Why do we light lamps during Diwali?
The brightest festival is incomplete without the twinkling of thousands of oil lamps, lanterns and firecrackers. Historically, Diwali signifies the return of the Lord Rama to Ayodhya after spending 14 years in exile and defeating the evil Ravana. To welcome their beloved prince, the people of the kingdom lit a row of oil lamps outside their homes. Till this day, oil lamps are lit to signify the victory of virtue over evil. They are also lit to dispel the darkness, as Diwali is celebrated on Amavasya, the new moon day. Lighting a lamp also encourages us to do away with the darkness of ignorance and always accept the light of knowledge.
Why is Goddess Lakshmi worshipped during this festival?
Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and fortune, is believed to visit the homes of her devotees during Diwali. Every year, prayers are offered to the Goddess to bless a household with luck and prosperity. The whole house is cleaned and decorated before Diwali for this purpose.
Why is it customary to have an oil bath during Diwali?
In some states of India, it is imperative to apply aromatic oils and scrubs on the body and have a luxurious bath on a Diwali morning. According to a legend, Lord Krishna vanquished the terrible Narakasur on the first day of Diwali. As a mark of victory, he smeared his forehead with the demon’s blood. The women of Krishna’s kingdom rubbed special oils on his body and helped him wash away the bloodstains with the water of the Ganga. Like in the story, everyone is encouraged to wash away evil thoughts on Diwali day.
What is the significance of a rangoli?
Those intricate, colourful patterns outside every doorstep during Diwali adds a hue of cheer to the festival of lights. When we draw rangoli patterns on Diwali, we attempt to trap all the negative energy into the little boxes and curves of the designs so that only positivity flows into our homes. The symmetry of a rangoli design is also an indication of balance, luck and progress.
Why do we wear new clothes on Diwali
After Dusherra, Diwali is considered the most auspicious time for new beginnings. When we wear new clothes or invest in new appliances or ventures, we continue to be enthusiastic about each day ahead.