Diwali 2016-Day 1 Dhantrayodashi
Diwali is one of the biggest festival of Hindus, celebrated with great enthusiasm and happiness in India and by Indians all over the world. The festival is celebrated for five continuous days, where the third day is celebrated as the main Diwali festival or ‘Festival of lights’.
Different colorful varieties of fireworks are always associated with this festival. On this auspicious day, people light up diyas and candles all around their house. They perform Laxmi Puja in the evening and seek divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth. The festival of Diwali is never complete without exchange of gifts. People send for diwali to their near and dear ones.
Oh yes and how can I forget the delicious diwali snacks. I try to make atleast 10 diwali snacks every year which comprises of sweet as well as savory snacks. You can find them all in my Diwali recipes archives. This year Diwali was more special as I used my own Diwali products from www.mefestive.com
Hindus interpret the Diwali story based upon where they live:
In North India they celebrate the story of King Rama’s return to Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana by lighting rows of clay lamps.
South India celebrates it as the day that Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura.
In western India the festival marks the day that Lord Vishnu, the Preserver (one of the main gods of the Hindu trinity) sent the demon King Bali to rule the nether world.
In this blog post I have penned down my this years Diwali Celebrations
Diwali celebrations start with Dhanatrayodashi.
Dhanteras or Dhan Teras marks the beginning of Diwali and is observed two days before Diwali. It is the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight of Kartik Month and is also known as Dhantra Yodashi. The importance of Dhanteras is that a new utensil or gold or silver is bought for the house. The day is dedicated to Dhanavantri, the physician of the gods.
On Dhanteras, Lakhsmi – the Goddess of wealth – is worshiped to provide prosperity and well being. It is also the day for celebrating wealth, as the word ‘Dhan’ literally means wealth and ‘Tera’ comes from the date 13th.
In the evening, the clay lamp is lit and Dhan-Lakshmi is welcomed into the house. Alpana or Rangoli designs are drawn on pathways including the goddess’ footprints to mark the arrival of Lakshmi. Aartis or devotional hymns are sung eulogizing Goddess Lakshmi and sweets and fruits are offered to her.
Many wear new clothes and wear jewelry as they light the first lamp of Diwali while some engage in a game of gambling.
According to Hindu legend, when devas and asuras were churning the ocean for ‘amrit’ – the nectar of immortality – Dhanvantri emerged from the ocean with the jar of amrit on this day.
For those doing business, Dhanteras is the day when new account books are bought and kept ready for the Lakshmi puja on Diwali.
Interestingly, a girl child born on Dhanteras day is considered as the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi into the house and is considered lucky by certain communities in North India.