Diwali is the biggest and one of the most famous and light-hearted festivals which is celebrated by billions of people.
The following is a detailed discussion of the history of Diwali.
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History of Diwali
There is a history behind the festival of Diwali. Diwali’s roots can be traced back to Hindu mythology, where ancient tales narrate the story of Lord Rama, an incarnation of the God Vishnu. Lord Rama, the son of Dashratha, the ruler of Ayodhya, was a valiant warrior king. Due to a scheme plotted by his stepmother, he was forced into a fourteen-year exile. Lord Rama, devoted to his duty as a son, accepted the exile without hesitation. His wife, Sita, and brother, Lakshman, stood by his side and accompanied him to the forest.
Towards the end of their exile, Ravana, the powerful king of Lanka, became captivated by Sita’s beauty and abducted her, taking her to Lanka. In response, Rama and Lakshman embarked on a mission to rescue Sita, aided by Hanuman, Lord Rama’s greatest devotee. Eventually, Lord Rama vanquished Ravana and successfully rescued his beloved wife. Upon their return to Ayodhya, the people warmly welcomed Rama, Sita, and Lakshman by illuminating the entire city with rows of clay lamps and setting off fireworks. This grand celebration symbolized the triumph of Lord Rama over Ravana, representing the victory of good over evil.
In present times, Diwali is celebrated with a similar spirit. This festival, typically falling in the months of October or November, occurs twenty days after the festival of Dussehra and symbolizes the victory of good over evil. People start preparations fifteen days in advance, cleaning and decorating their homes. New clothes are bought and worn on this auspicious day. As evening approaches, houses are adorned with tube lights, clay lamps (known as diyas), and candles, symbolically dispelling darkness and inviting the presence of deities.
According to Hindu beliefs, Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, is believed to visit homes and bestow prosperity. To welcome the goddess, Hindus worship Lakshmi, light candles and diyas at their doorways, and leave their doors open.
Diwali brings immense joy and enthusiasm to people’s lives. It serves as an occasion to strengthen bonds with loved ones. Sweets are prepared at home and distributed among friends and relatives. Invitations are extended to near and dear ones, and visits to relatives and friends are made, accompanied by the exchange of gifts and dry fruits.
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