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Deepavali Legend, Beleifs and Rituals

Deepavali, a festival of lights is one of the biggest and most anticipated festivals of the year in India. The name Deepavali reminds of crackers, sweets, new clothes and tasty food more over it is not just one day festival but a five day celebration with lot of lights and participation in the family that brings unity and joy. This year, Deepavali falls on 29th October 2016. Deepavali starts with Dhanteras that falls two days before Deepavali followed by Naraka Chaturdashi/Choti Deepavali, Lakshmi Puja/Badi Deepavali, Padwa/Varsha Pratipada, Bhai Dooj as the last day of the 5 day Deepavali festival.

Dhanteras - 27th October 2016

The first day of five day festival - Deepavali is Dhanteras. The first puja done is Lakshmi Kubera Puja that falls on 27th October 2016. "Dhan" means wealth, "tera" meaning 13th day (trayodashi as in Sanskrirt). On this auspicious day people clean and paint their houses prior to the festival and make preparations to welcome Goddess Lakshmi and Kubera, treasurer of Gods who likes to live in clean places. The house is decorated with Rangoli and foot prints of Goddess Lakshmi are drawn at the entrance. On this day, people buy new jewels, precious metals and stones, utensils, new clothes etc. Later, Puja is done by offering flowers and fruits, songs, bhangs and prayers are performed to seek her blessings and the year ahead to flourish with prosperity..

Legand behind Dhanteras

There is a famous legend behind Dhanteras, story about 16 year old son of King Hima whose horoscope predicted his death by snake bit on the fourth day of his marriage. His newly wed wife didn't allow him to sleep. She laid all her ornaments of gold, silver and other precious material at her door step and lit the lamp all over their room and narrated stories & sang songs to her. Yama, God of Death came in form of serpent. His eyes dazzled with reflection and brilliance of lamps and jewelery that were put all around the room. Yama not being able to enter the room because of the light, he climbed top of the gold pile and listened to intelligent new wife's songs and stories she told her husband. Later in the morning, Yama blessed the King with long life and left the room. The following day is called Yamadeepdaan, also known as Choti Deepavali.

This day is also called as Dhanvantari Triodashi, which is about the legend Dhanvantari, the physician of Gods. The incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Dhanvantari appeared with Amrita Kalash that was churned from the ocean for Amrita by Gods and Demons. It is believed that he appeared on triyoadashi in the Krishna Paksha of Ashvin month.

Naraka Chaturdashi/Choti Deepavali - 28th October 2016

The second day of Deepavali is Naraka Chaturdashi. This day is also called as Choti Deepavali and celebrated as Kali Puja in West Bengal. In South India, people wake up early in the morning and take gingelly oil bath before sunrise, wear new clothes, fire crackers and share sweets.

Legend behind Naraka Chaturdashi

The famous legend behind celebrations of Choti Deepavali or Naraka Chaturdashi is Demon King Narakasura. He had defeated the king of Gods, Lord Indra and snatched away the magnificent earrings of Aditi, the Mother Goddess and imprisoned 16000 daughters of gods and saints in his harem. Lord Krishna killed the demon and liberated the imprisoned damsels and also recovered Aditi's precious earrings. The death of Narakasura on Chaturdashi is celebrated as Choti Deepavali in North India.

South India celebrate Deepavali by waking up before sunrise with eldest member of the family applies gingelly oil - that is mixed with light roasted rice, black pepper, in the head of each of the family members and take Ganga Snan. It is believed that taking oil bath in holy water cleans the evil and all the sins; purifying the soul. After bath people wear new clothes, ornaments, share sweets with friends & relatives and fire crackers to celebrate the joy.

Lakshmi Puja/Badi Deepavali - 29th October 2016

The third day is the main day for celebrating Deepavali, on the same day Lakshmi Puja is also observed. People perform Lakshmi puja and shopkeepers in North India make new account books and start using it on the first day of Karthik month in Vikram Samvat(Hindu Calendar).

Goverdhan Puja/Padwa/Varsha Pratipada - 30th October 2016

Govardhan Puja
The fourth day of Deepavali is Goverdhana Puja and Padwa. Goverdhana Puja otherwise called Annakut is celebrated in account of Lord Krishna defeating Indra, King of Indralok. To symbolise Goverdhan mountain people make Annakut, a mountain of food is decorated that was lifted by Lord Krishna to save the people form wrath of Lord Indra. This puja is observed in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Padwa is observed as new year in the state of Gujarat, unlike other states that celebrate new year in the month of Chaitra, as per Vikram Samvat. The month of Karthik (8th month of Hindu Calendar) Vikram Samvat is celebrated new year by North Indian businessmen since it is believed that sun travels to Libra - scale/balance as in horoscope, and is best month for balancing and opening new accounts after performing puja to Goddess Lakshmi the previous evening.

Bhai Dooj - 31st October 2016

Bhai Dooj

The last and final day of Deepavali is called as Bhai Dooj. This is a festival to honor the brother-sister relationship. On this day sisters pray for long, healthy and happy life of her brothers by performing 'tika' ceremony and offer sweets to her brother. In return brothers give gifts to their sister.

Legend behind Bhai Dooj

Bhai Dooj is also called 'Yama Dwiteeya' as it is believed that on this day Yamaraj, the Lord of Death visited his sister who puts auspicious mark on his forehead and prays for his well being. So it is believed that anyone who receives a tilak from his sister on the day of Bhai Dooj would never be hurled to hell.

Like all festivals in India, Even this festival aims in bringing the family together and spend quality time to share moments of joy with each other.

We are happy to inform you that Giri has products like Kubera Yantra and Puja Set, Shodasha Mahalakshmi Puja Set, Lakshmi Kuber Puja Set, Gift Articles for Bhai Dooj, and all puja items that are necessary for your puja.

Giri Family is happy to wish you and your family a very happy prosperous and a safe Deepavali!

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