10 Reasons To Celebrate Diwali
10 Reasons To Celebrate Diwali
Diwali is one of the biggest, most popular and widely celebrated of Hindu festivals. It is a time for families to get together, when traditional sweets are prepared, gifts and food is exchanged, lights are lit, crackers are burst and the atmosphere is joyous, bright and filled with festive cheer! But Diwali is much more than all this. Cox & Kings gives you ten reasons to celebrate Diwali—one filled with more lights, and less noise. Happy Diwali and wish you a prosperous New Year!
#1 The Birth Of Goddess Lakshmi
Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, was one of the celestial beings who emerged from Kshirsagar, the ocean of milk, when it was churned by the devas and asuras in search of Amrit, the divine nectar that would grant immortality. She was born on amavasya, the new moon day in the month of Kartik, the day when Diwali is celebrated.
#2 The Start Of a New Year
Diwali originally marked the last harvest of the year before winter—a time to seek the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi, the bestower of wealth. Accounting books were closed and prayers for success were offered to her, before the start of the new financial year. This practice now extends to businesses all over the Indian subcontinent, and the day after Diwali is celebrated as the beginning of the new financial year.
#3 A Day For Sisters And Brothers
The Mahabharata tells of Lord Krishna who visited his half-sister Subhadra, after killing the demon, Narakasura. Subhadra welcomed him with flowers, lamps, sweets and tilak on his forehead. And so then it’s said the custom of applying tilak became popular.
Another legend tells of how Yama, the god of death, visited his sister, Yami, on the day after Diwali. She welcomed him with garlands and applied vermilion tilak on his forehead. She served Yama his favourite sweets and dishes, and they spent time catching up. Yama had such a great time that he announced that brothers who visited their sisters on this day and were anointed with tilak would be blessed by him. Since then, Bhau-beej, bhai-dooj, or Yama-Dvitiya is observed as a day of love between brothers and sisters.
#4 The Killing of Narakaasura
Narakaasura, a demon king defeated Lord Indra and kidnapped 16,000 women—daughters of gods. Satyabhama, Lord Krishna’s wife was enraged and went into battle with Krishna as her charioteer. Narakaasura had been cursed with death at the hands of a woman, and Satyabhama fulfilled that curse by beheading him. This victory is celebrated as Narak Chaturdashi during Diwali.
#5 The Return of the Pandavas
According to the Mahabharata, the Pandavas ended 12 years of exile on kartik amavashya, a day that was celebrated by the lighting of earthen lamps by their subjects.
# 6 The Victory Of Rama
The Ramayana tells of Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya with Sita and Lakshmana after Ravana’s defeat in Lanka, on a full moon day in the month of kartik. Ayodhya celebrated this day by decorating Ayodhya with earthen lamps.
#7 The Coronation Of Vikramaditya
King Vikramaditya, a renowned and much-loved Hindu king from the 1st century BCE, in Ujjain, was coroneted on Diwali. The king had nine “gems”—men of great learning, one of whom was Kalidasa—in his court, and was one of the most ideal rulers, with several stories, legends and books dedicated to his reign.
#8 A Special Day For Arya Samajis
The new moon day of kartik, the day Diwali is celebrated, is when Maharshi Dayananda, one of the greatest reformers of Hinduism and the founder of Arya Samaj, attained nirvana.
#9 A Special Day For Jainism
The founder of modern Jainism, Mahavir Tirthankar, also attained nirvana on the new moon day of kartik.
#10 A Special Day For Sikhs
The third Sikh Guru Amar Das, declared Diwali as the day when all Sikhs would gather to receive the Guru’s blessings. It was also on this day, in the year 1577, that the foundation stone of the Golden Temple—the most revered institution of the Sikhs—was laid in Amritsar. 42 years later, in 1619, the sixth Sikh Guru Hargobind, was released on Diwali by Mughal Emperor Jahangir, from Gwalior fort, along with 52 kings.
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