When Is Diwali 2018



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About Diwali Festival



Diwali undoubtedly holds a special place in the Hindu calendar. The festival name has its roots in the Sanskrit word "Deepavali", which means festival of lights. The photo-ops are numerous on the festival's night, as there are lamps and crackers' sparkle everywhere.

If an aerial picture of an area is clicked on the night of this festival, the view would be that of brightly-illuminated land.

Since Diwali is celebrated by people of different regions, the festivities and rituals differ but the spirit of ecstasy remains the same everywhere.

Diwali 2018 Date



When is Diwali? : Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Although Diwali is extended to the five-day celebration, the main festival falls roughly eighteen days after Dussehra. It is towards the latter half of the year in the months of October or November that the festival takes place. According to the Hindu calendar of the year 2018, the darkest night is falling on November 7 in the month Kartik, and this day will be marked as Diwali this year.

Five Days of Diwali



The fact that makes this Diwali festival so popular and significant is the series of rituals which are not confined to just a single day. People usually begin the preparations weeks before the festival, commencing with the renovation of houses and workplaces, cleaning and painting of buildings, shopping for the decoration of houses, gifts for the loved ones, new clothes and several other things required to enjoy the festival. Houses and workplaces are adorned with flowers, jhaalars, kandils, etc. Rangolis of flowers and dried powdered colours brighten the entrances of several households. The following five days together make this Deepavali festival complete:

Dhanteras

The five days merriment starts off with Dhanteras.Buildings are decked with rows of neon lights and people come out in the markets to purchase gold, silver or at least one new kitchen ware as part of the Dhanteras ritual. Along with the celebration of the birth of Goddess Lakshmi, who is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, it is also the day of the birth of Goddess Dhanvantari, the keeper of health and healing. Some people believe it to be the day when the forces of good and evil churn the cosmic ocean of milk.

Naraka Chaturdasi

Commonly known as Chhoti Diwali, Naraka Chaturdasi is the second day of the celebration. It is the time for extensive house cleaning, decoration and making floors colourful (Rangoli). Towns and cities witness the beginning of socialisation from this day. The scene of most of India is usually that of people buying gifts, visiting relatives & friends, and exchanging pleasantries.

Diwali

The third day is considered the main event of the five days celebrations. The main rituals and rites are performed on the evening of Diwali festival with puja offered to Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha, Goddess Saraswati, and Lord Kuber and other gods, varying as per different communities. It is believed that on the night of Diwali, Goddess of wealth Lakshmi visits the Earth. To acknowledge her presence and to invite her blessings to one's house, people light diyas on their doors, windows, verandahs, and balconies. This is followed by children and adults dressed in their best clothes and burning firecrackers.

This day additionally marks the beginning of New Year as per the Vikram Samvat calendar and owing to this, traders and merchants begin their new fiscal year with the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kuber.

Padwa

The day after Diwali is observed as Padwa which is taken as an opportunity to celebrate the institution of marriage. The exchange of gifts takes place between husbands and wives. Some families also follow a ritual, where the brother of a woman brings her home from in-law's home for celebrations. Several regions in the country are known to pay devotion to Lord Krishna on this sacred day by performing Goverdhan Puja.

Bhai Duj or Bhaiya Dooj

The festivities end with the celebration of the bond between brothers and sisters. Often known as Bhai Duj or Bhaiya Dyyuj, this merriment is labelled "Tika" in some regions of India. Similar to Raksha Bandhan but with different rites and rituals, Bhai Duj becomes an occasion when siblings and cousins take time out to spend with each other. Many communities revel by feasting together and with the sisters acknowledging the love and trust of the brother-sister relationship by adorning the foreheads of the brothers with vermilion and dry rice. It signifies their prayers for the well-being of their brothers which are duly returned with the same warmth in the form of gifts by brothers.

Beliefs on Diwali



Like most Hindu festivals, Diwali, too, is believed to be the celebration of the triumph of good over evil. Owing to its universal beliefs, Diwali is celebrated by Jain and Sikh communities as well. Believers see this day as the one where love takes over despair, light defeats darkness, and knowledge asserts its supremacy over ignorance. As per the three major philosophical schools of Hinduism, i.e., Vedanta, Yoga and Samkhya, the Atman is known to be beyond the physical existence. Expressing the transcendental side of Hinduism, this belief holds importance for the festival of Diwali, as it is understood to be the unveiling of the true knowledge of one's real nature, giving way to spiritual awakening.

History of Diwali



As Diwali is an ancient festival, most of the Puranas and other religious scriptures of Hindus are full of references to it. The Skanda Purana describes divas or lamps as symbols of parts of the Sun, the cosmic benefactor of energy and light to all living beings.

Significance of Diwali



India is a land where societal living and community interactions have had boundless significance in the past, but owing to the urbanisation, race for development and individual successes, interactions among people have seen a considerable decrease. In such a scenario, Diwali has assumed another

level of significance and has become the reason and the binding force for bringing together people of cities and villages alike.

In the spirit of joy, lighting the lamp of self-knowledge and enthusiasm remaining common, the regional practices of celebrations differ according to the resources and beliefs marked by demographic transitions.

Why Is Diwali Celebrated?



The religious reasons for the celebration of Diwali vary across Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism.

Hinduism

Diwali is a celebration of the return of Lord Rama with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman from an exile of fourteen years, according to the epic the Ramayana.

Certain northern regions of India celebrate Diwali as the day of offering devotion to Goddess Lakshmi whereas the Eastern regions emphasise on Kali Puja.

Jainism

Diwali holds special significance in Jainism. It is the day which commemorates the attainment of Nirvana by Lord Mahavira.

Sikhism

Sikhs indulge in festivities on Diwali as it was this day when Guru Har Gobind Ji freed himself from the imprisonment of Jahangir and returned to the Golden Temple, Amritsar. Called by the name Bandi Chhor Divas, this festival is observed by Sikhs with utmost devotion.

How Diwali is Celebrated in India



The celebration of Diwali extends from the lighting of lamps, decoration of houses, performance of Puja, preparation and consumption of sweets and other regional specialties to the exchange of gifts, the telling of myths and legends to children & burning of firecrackers.

The increasing awareness of environmental degradation has, however, changed the manner in which the celebrations are carried out. Many responsible families in India have been observing pollution-free Diwali for many years where the glee is limited to only good social practices. Not only do schools and education institutes discourage children from the combustion of firecrackers, the media, the government, and parents also play a significant role in spreading awareness about the ill-effects of air pollution caused due to the burning of firecrackers.



Last Updated on : November 1, 2018




     


     

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