Overview of Deepavali Festival
Diwali or Deepavali is one of the most popular Hindu festivals religiously celebrated in India. The festival is celebrated in Tamil Nadu during the Tamil month of Aippasi (October-November).
Deepavali marks new beginnings, the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. ‘Deep’ means light and ‘vali’ means row. Houses and streets are decorated by rows of lamps and lights.
Religious Significance for Diwali Festival
Diwali is an important celebration for various religions including Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism. The festival of lights is observed in many Indian States. In the Eastern States, the festival is celebrated to mark the victory of Goddess Kali over demons. In the Northern States, Diwali is the day when Lord Krishna had lifted the Govardhan Hill to protect his village people from the wrath of Lord Indra. South Indians celebrate Deepavali to mark the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon Narakasura.
The Diwali Festival Celebrations
- Homes and offices are cleaned and decorated.
- The day before the festival, a huge oven is cleaned and made ready for oil bath for the whole family on the following day.
- The house is decorated with lights and kolams. Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth and prosperity is worshipped.
- Lighting of diyas at homes and streets, colourful rangolis/kolams outside the house, puja and rituals forms a part of this festival.
- In addition to this, wearing new clothes, greeting near and dear ones, scintillating display of fireworks.
- Exotic sweets and feasts are prepared at home. Traditional sweets are served in temples for devotees.
- Cultural events, competitions and musical performances are held at many places to have more fun and frolic.
- Movies are released on the occasion of Deepavali and fans line up at cinema halls to watch the movie of their favourite stars.
- Fairs and exhibitions are held in cities where traditional handicrafts and souvenirs are kept for sale.
- Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, Ranganathaswamy Temple in Thiruchirapalli and Kamakshi Amman Temple in Kanchipuram witnesses huge crowds of devotees during the Deepavali festival.
Diwali is a celebration of unity and love. This pious festival and its tradition fills people with joy, peace and happiness. It reminds us to give and forgive. Lately there has been widespread awareness among people about how to celebrate a safe and eco friendly Diwali, giving priority to our nature and environment. Supreme Court has now banned usage of conventional firecrackers to bring down pollution levels. It has also fixed a two hour window for bursting crackers.