Diwali is one of the most-awaited religious festivals for Hindus in India. Known as the festival of lights, Deepavali is celebrated on the day of ‘amavasya’ or new moon in the month of Karthik in Hindu calendar. The five-day celebrations start with Dhanteras and ends with Bhai Dooj. The third day is celebrated as Deepavali in remembrance of the victory of good over evil. This year, the third day falls on October 30 this year.
People start preparing for the festival at the onset of the autumn season. The entire country lights up with diyas, crackers, lanterns, lights and happiness on this day. Not just India, countries like Nepal, Pakistan, Malaysia, Mauritius, etc., also celebrate the festival with vigour and enthusiasm.
Many regions celebrate Deepavali as a harvest festival. Especially in rural areas, which are heavily dependent on agriculture, celebrate the festival as the arrival of prosperity and happiness because the festivities coincides with the harvest season.
According to mythology, Deepavali is associated with Yama and Nachiketa on Karthik Amavasya or the new moon night of Diwali. Their story is remembered as that about true knowledge, rightful wealth and right’s victory over wrong.
People worship Lakshmi — the goddess of wealth and prosperity and Ganesha, the remover of obstacles during the festivities. They clean and furnish their houses around this time, exchange gifts and sweets with loved ones and family and light up their houses will beautiful lamps and intricate rangoli designs.
The mahurat timings for Diwali puja is as follows:
Lakshmi Puja Muhurat: 6:27 pm to 8:09 pm
Pradosh Kaal: 5:33 pm to 8:09 pm
Vrishabha Kaal: 6:27 pm to 8:22 pm
Watch these Laxmi Puja Mantra videos:
A very interesting part of Diwali night is Kali Puja. Predominantly celebrated by Bengalis, the festival is said to have been introduced by Raja Krishnachandra, the king of Navadveep, in the eighteenth century. Interestingly, the offering during Kali Puja is that of mutton, wherein in most pujas, offerings are strictly vegetarian in nature. This year, though, Kali Puja was held a day before.