Diwali or Deepavali is a very popular festival that Indians love to celebrate. The festival transcends culture and religion. Poojas for the devout, card parties for the fun-loving, sparklers and firecrackers for the little ones, beautiful earthen lamps and colorful rangolis for the ladies – Diwali has something to engage everyone.
The festivities go on for 5 days. Below is a detailed description of the 5 days of Diwali 2019, including their names, religious significance and the forms they take in various regions in India.
1st Day of Diwali
Dhanteras is the first day of Diwali. It is also called Dhanvantari Triodas and it heralds the beginning of the Diwali festivities. This day is very significant in many areas of India as it is believed to be very auspicious. It is observed on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksh or the dark fortnight of Karthik month Lord Dhanwantari is supposed to have emerged from the ocean with Ayurveda, the science of traditional Indian medicine, when it was being churned, on this day. People throng jewelry shops to buy silver, gold, precious gems, ornaments, new clothes, new utensils, etc. In the evening, women light diyas or earthen lamps outside their homes and children light firecrackers. In places like Gujarat, this day is considered more important than the actual day of Deepavali. Special poojas like Lakshmi pooja, Kubera pooja and Ganesha pooja are performed on this day.
2nd Day OF Diwali
Kali Chaudas or Narak Chaturdasi is the second day of Diwali. In some regions, it is also called Choti Diwali. It is the day before Diwali. It was on this day that Lord Krishna destroyed the demon, Narakasur. People usually have an oil massage on this day to relieve stress, bathe and rest, so that they can celebrate Diwali with vim and vigor. Most people do not light diyas or go out on this day. Instead, they stay at home and relax. But nowadays, people visit each other's homes on this day to wish each other and exchange sweets and gifts.
3rd Day of Diwali
The third day is Diwali/ Deepavali. Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped on this day and people light lamps or diyas in their homes. Streets will be lit up with lights and sparklers and crackers while the skies look like they are in bloom with the dazzling burst of colors from fireworks. Maha Lakshmi is worshipped in the evening and then people go to temples, gurudwaras and sometimes churches too to light candles. Sweets will be exchanged as prasad.
4th Day of Diwali
The fourth day is celebrated in a variety of ways all over India. In Gujarat in the West, it is celebrated with great pomp as Bestu Baras, or New Year. In the north, this day is celebrated as Govardhan Pooja and Vishwakarma Day. People worship their tools, weapons and instruments. Most businesses will not be working on this day. It is also called Annakut.
5th Day of Diwali
Bhai Dooj is the festival that is celebrated on the fifth day. This festival celebrates the special bond between sisters and brothers. On this day, brothers visit their sisters’ homes and spend time with them, to cement the bond between them. The sisters prepare sweets to honor their brothers, and wish them health, happiness and success.