There is a reason that Diwali or Deepawali is the most popular Indian festival. The scintillating festival stretches beyond cultures and religions, embracing and enveloping all. From detailed, long poojas for the religion enthusiasts to the night long card parties and haute Diwali do's for the younger, chic lot, from ebullient, fiery crackers for jumpy, juvenile ones to the lovely, colourful earthen lamps and lanterns and fine rangolis for the creative ones – the festival of Diwalu has something for everyone. |
And, not to forget the fact that this is rarely a day long festival – the festival actually stretches for almost the whole week, with festivities lasting for 5 days and the after-effects a few days here and there.
Here is a list of all the 5 days of Diwali, with their names, religious significance and forms in different parts of India. Read on!
1st Day -
The first day of Diwali is called Dhan Teras (Dhanvantari Triodas)
, and it marks the official beginning of the Diwali festivities. This day has great significance in many parts of India; people consider this as a very auspicious day and Muhurat.
The thirteenth lunar day of the Krishna Paksh (as per the Hindu Calendar), the dark fortnight of the month of Karthik, Dhan Teras is a special day. On this day, Lord Dhanwantari is believed to have come out of the ocean with Ayurveda, the science of medicine, for the benefit of mankind. A huge amount of buying, specifically gold, silver and precious stones, ornaments, new clothes and utensils, takes placeis done on this day. In the evening, children light crackers, and people also light some earthen lamps outside their home. In some parts of India, like Gujarat, this day is religiously held even more important than the actual Deepawali day, and people hold Lakshmi, Kuber (the Hindu God of riches) and Ganesha Pooja on this day.
2nd Day -
The second day of Diwali week is called the Kali Chaudas
or Narak Chaturdasi. In some parts of India, it is simply the Choti Diwali
, the day before Diwali.
On this day Lord Krishna is known to have destroyed the demon Narakasur, freeing the world from fear. On this day, it is believed that one should massage the body with oil to relieve it of tiredness, bathe and rest, so that Diwali can be celebarated with vigour and devotion. It is also believed that one should not light diyas or step out on this day, and rather stay at home and relax. However, in modern times, on Choti Deepwali, people go to each other's homes to wish 'a Happy and Prosperous Diwali' and also exchange gifts and sweets.
3rd Day -
The third day of these festivities is the actual Diwali/ Deepawali
, when Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped, along with Lord Ganesha. People light diyas and candles in their homes, and the streets all across India light up with millions of sparklers, crackers and fairy lights. After worshipping MahaLakshmi in the evening with their families, people visit temples, gurudwaras and even churches to light candles. They also exchange sweets as prasaad.
4th Day -
The fourth day is celebrated in various forms all across India. In the Western states of India like Gujarat this day is celebrated with great pomp and show as Bestu Baras
, the New Year as per their Calendar. In Northern states of India, this day is widely celebrated as Govardhan Pooja
Day, when people worship their instruments, arms and machinery. Most or all business establishments, thus, remain closed on this day. This day is also called as Annakut
5th Day -
The fifth day of Diwali festivities is celebrated as the Bhai Dooj or Bhai Beej or Bhai Teeka/ Tilak or Bhai Fota (In Bengal)
. Brothers visit their sisters on this day, and the sisters celebrate and prepare sweets specially in honour of their brothers, wishing a long, happy, healthy life and great success for them.