Why Is Diwali Celebrated | Why Is Diwali Called The Festival Of Lights

by VioletteRose

Diwali is one of the most famous Indian festivals. Diwali is observed and celebrated mostly by Hindus to celebrate the victory of good over the evil. Read more about Diwali here.

Diwali is also known as Deepavali or Deepawali in India. The name of this festival can be translated as "rows of lights or series of lights" or simply the celebration of lights. It is actually a festival of lights. People light small clay lamps known as Diyas in their homes, and even the streets are decorated with lights during the festival day. Other than in India, few other Asian countries also celebrate this festival. You may also find the celebrations elsewhere where the Indian communities reside.

Diwali is a National holiday in many countries where the festival is celebrated.

The significance of the name Diwali

The name "Diwali" or Deepavali" can be translated as the celebration or festival of lights.The name of the festival itself shows the importance of lights during the celebration. The reason is that the festival celebrates the victory of light over the darkness. It is also the victory of good over the evil. The darkness doesn't necessarily means evil, it may also represent the lack of knowledge, selfishness or ego and also other negative feelings or acts.

The darkness of the night can be eliminated by lighting lamps, the ignorance can be eliminated by gaining knowledge, and the evils can be conquered by doing good. The darkness in life may be eliminated by the lights of hope. This is the message of Diwali and by observing Diwali, this is the message that is passed on.

Lighted Diyas
Lighted Diyas
Wikimedia Commons Image

The lamps are lighted on a new moon day when there is full darkness. The date is decided based on the Hindu lunar calendar, and in the year 2016, the festival falls on the day of October 30th Sunday.

Other than lighted lamps, there is also a tradition of celebrating with fireworks and firecrackers. The use of firecrackers may not be always safe and so extreme care has to be taken if you decide to use them for enjoyment. I personally do not favor the use of fire crackers but it is my personal opinion out of safety concerns.

Its More Than Just Lights

Diwali is definitely a celebration of lights, whether using lighted oil lamps like diyas, or using fireworks. However, lighting lamps is not the only thing people do on the festival days. Actually, Diwali is a celebration of five days and each day has its own significance.

The first Diwali after marriage is considered very important for newly married couples. Special poojas or rituals may be performed which is thought to strengthen the bond between the husband and wife. Another day is specially celebrated to maintain good relationship between the family members, especially among sisters and brothers.

In each family, gods and goddesses are worshipped and offerings are made. The offerings are mainly some special food like desserts and other traditional snacks which are shared among relatives, friends and neighbours.

Every one wears new dresses on the Diwali day and there is also a tradition of gift giving.

Diwali Sweets And Snacks
Diwali Sweets And Snacks
Wikimedia Commons Image

Beautiful And Decorative Diyas To Light Lamps For Diwali

Traditionally, Diwali diyas have to be lighted using oil. But today, people also use decorated diyas filled with wax which can be also used like candles.

The Legends Behind The Diwali Celebrations

There are actually many legends behind the celebration of Diwali. The celebrations, worships and prayers very much depend on where you are living.

In many places, Diwali is an occasion to welcome Goddess Maha Lakshmi to our homes. Goddess Maha Lakshmi is worshipped as the goddess of wealth and prosperity. In other places, the celebration is mostly associated with the homecoming of God Rama along with his wife Sita and also his brother Lakshman, after spending the fourteen years in forest. People celebrate the days remembering the welcome celebrations of Rama, Sita and Lakshman to the kingdom of Ayodhya.

In many places, Diwali is also celebrated remembering the victory of God Krishna over the female demon or Rakshasi known as Poothana, who tried to kill all the babies of Ambadi  by poisoning them. Ambadi is thought to be located in Vrindavan where Krishna spent his childhood.

In brief, it is not just a single legend that is behind the Diwali celebration. There are a number of good stories behind the celebration.

In almost all the temples, special prayers and rituals are performed during the Diwali festival days.

Personalized Diwali Greeting Cards

I have found that Zazzle has got many beautiful Diwali greeting cards. Here you can see some of the best available cards. You can buy the personalized Diwali greeting card shown below by clicking on the image below.

Do you celebrate Diwali?

Updated: 10/13/2016, VioletteRose
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VioletteRose on 09/30/2014

Thanks Frank! Going forward, I am planning to write about the festivals as they come up.

frankbeswick on 09/30/2014

Yet another informative article on Hindu festivals! Thank you. This is useful.

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