Diwali in history:
The history of Diwali is replete with legends and these legends are moored to the stories of Hindu religious scriptures, mostly the Puranas. Though the central theme of all legends point out to the classic truth of the victory of the good over the evils, the mode of their presentation and the characters differ. Diwali, being the festival of lights, lighting the lamp of knowledge within us means to understand and reflect upon the significant purpose of each of the five days of festivities and to bring those thoughts in to the day to day lives.
The five day of Diwali
The first day of Diwali is called Dhanvantari Triodasi or Dhanwantari Triodasi also called Dhan Theras. The second day of Diwali is called Narak Chaturdasi. It is the fourteenth lunar day (thithi) of the dark forthnight of the month of Kartik and the eve of Diwali. On this day Lord Krishna destroyed the demon Narakasur and made the world free from fear. The third day of Diwali is the actual Diwali. This is the day when worship for Mother Lakshmi is performed. On the fourth day of Diwali, Goverdhan Pooja is performed. The fifth day of the diwali is called Bhratri Dooj. It is a day dedicated to sisters.
In The Morning: Deepavali celebrations begins early in the morning. The eldest family member applies sesame oil on the heads of all the family members. Then, it’s off for a bath, beginning with the youngest in the family. They emerge with new clothes and a look of anticipation at the thought of bursting crackers, which symbolizes the killing of the demon king Narakasur.
Lehiyan: But before that comes Lehiyan, the bitter concoction, to cleanse the system of its festive over-eating! Then to the crackers.
Murukku: A puja is performed for the family deities in the morning. Breakfast consists of murukku , a sweet dish and, of course, idli or dosa .
Wish fulfilment: Some communities believe that when Narakasur was to be killed, Lord Krishna asked him his last wish. Narakasura replied that he wanted to enjoy the last day of his life in a grand manner and Diwali was celebrated. That was the beginning and the practice continued.
In The Evening: In the evening, lamps are lighted and crackers are burst. As most of the cracker manufacturing units are in Tamil Nadu, there is no dearth of fireworks here.
During Thalai Deepavali, the newly weds go to the bride’s parental home for revelry. Taking blessings from the elders, they burst the first crackers of the day. Usually a vast range of crackers is bought, with costs running into thousands of rupees. The Diwali Celebrations include a visit to the temple, gifts of clothes and jewelry, gorging on sweets and receiving blessings of elders. The groom’s parents, brothers and sisters come down to join in the celebrations.
My Diwali purchases and preparations are coming up in my next post 🙂