DIWALI or DEEPAVALI – CELEBRATING PROCEDURE, RECIPES AND STORIES BEHIND IT
Diwali or Deepavali as called in different regions, is celebrated in many parts of India / world. Deepavali / Diwali means “Festival of lights/ Series of lights”. ‘Deep’ means ‘Light’; ‘Vali’ means ‘Series’.
Diwali marks the Lamps, Decorated Houses, Crackers, Sweets, Snacks and a Great Feast with the relatives and friends. Dark means ignorance. Light means knowledge. Therefore, Lamps mark the bright prospects in our life by gaining the real knowledge of life.
THE UNIQUENESS OF DIWALI COMPARED TO OTHER FESTIVALS
The family members including children UNUSUALLY wake up before the sunrise, even before 4 AM.
The entire family members take oil bath before sunrise.
They wear new dress after keeping the dress in front of God’s pictures and offering worship.
Then, they fire crackers, sparklers, flowerpots, rockets and Vishnuchakras, atom bomb crackers, Pencil like crackers, etc.
WHY DIWALI IS CELEBRATED? SOME LEGENDS BEHIND IT
(1) Diwali marks the abundance of autumn harvest.
(2) Cebrated as the last day of Lord Rama’s long exile of fourteen years. The citizens of Ayodhya lit series of lamps.
(3) Celebrated as the mark of worship of three goddesses – Lakshmi, Kali and Saraswati. Dhanteras (two days before Diwali) is dedicated to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Kali-Chudash (the day before Diwali) is dedicated to Maha Kali, the goddess of courage. Diwali Day is dedicated to goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge.
(4) Goddess Lakshmi incarnated on amaavasya of the Kartik month during the churning of the ocean (samudra-manthan) and on this day of Diwali, Lord Vishnu as Vamana avtaar rescued Lakshmi from the prison of King Bali. This is the reason for worshipping Lakshmi during Diwali.
(5) NARAKASURA KILLED BY KRISHNA:
Lord Krishna killed the demon king Narakasura and rescued 16,108 women from his captivity. Before dieing, Narakasura prayed to Krishna that this day should be celebrated with lights and fire as a mark of victory by the children and all. This is celebrated as Diwali as a mark of Victory.
(6) RETURN OF THE PANDAVAS:
On the Amavasya day of Karthik month, the Pandavas appeared from their 12 years of banishment and that day was celebrated the day by lighting the earthen lamps as said by Mahabharatha.
(7) THE VICTORY OF RAMA:
On the Amavasya day of Karthik month, Lord Rama, Sita Devi and Lakshmana returned to Ayodhya after vanquishing Ravana and that day was celebrated the day by lighting the earthen lamps as said by Ramayana.
(8) Diwali also marks the day on which the King Vikramaditya was coronated.
HOW TO CELEBRATE DIWALI?
It is believed that Goddess Laxmi visit everyone during Diwali and brings peace and prosperity to all. On the night of Diwali “Lakshmi-Puja” is performed in the evenings. A traditional Puja is performed after sunset in all the homes.
Five pieces of ghee lamps are lit in front of the deities, naivedya of traditional sweets is offered to the Goddess and devotional songs are sung in praise of Goddess Laxmi.
After Deepawali Puja people light lamps in their homes to usher in light and clear the darkness from the world.
DIWALI ARATI SONGS:
Chanting Hare Krishna throughout the day is the best offering to Lord. However, If you sing all other arati/ kirtans on Krishna and Lakshmi on Diwali, it will be very much blessed.
(i) Patandas” : Dosa like but made of flour and eaten with shakkar (jaggery powder) and ghee;
(ii) “Askloo” : Pakodas made out of rice atta and eaten with either shakkar ghee or chutney;
(iii) “Poodas” or “Mal poohas”: Made of flour and sugar syrup and eaten with a chutney.
(iv) SOUTH INDIAN RECIPE:
Murukku: Breakfast consists of murukku (a snack made of rice flour), a sweet dish and, of course, idli or dosa .
Happy celebrations. All the best.