Diwali is the biggest festival for Hindus. It is also the brightest of all the festivals celebrated. In fact, the name Deepawali means “a row of lights”; “deep” meaning light, and “awali” meaning “a row.”
Origin of Diwali, as we all know, can be traced back to Ramayana. It was the day when Lord Rama, after freeing Sita from the grasp of Ravana, returned home to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. Since it was new moon night, his return was received by lighting deeps in and around the whole city. It was a joyful moment for every person living in Ayodhya.
Some also believe that Diwali is celebrated as the day on which Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, married Lord Vishnu. Several people also celebrate it as her birthday, as new moon of the month of Kartika is said to have been the day on which Lakhmi was born.
In West Bengal, Diwali is dedicated to worshipping of Maa Kali, the goddess of strength. Several people also worship Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god and the god of auspiciousness, on Diwali. This is why Diwali is considered to be the most auspicious occasion to begin something new as the blessing of Lord Ganesha is with you.
We celebrate the day by lighting deeps and crackers. But other than this, this is also the day on which we share happiness by giving gifts to our loved ones which could be sweets, Diwali gift hampers, etc. – and reflecting on the year gone by to make necessary changes in our life for a better future. Because of this, there are several practices that people partake in on Diwali.
One of them is of giving and forgiving. People let go and forgive all wrongs that people have done to them and make a new start. This helps strengthen the bond and set right the relationships that mistakenly began on the wrong foot. There is an essence of freedom, forgiveness, and sensitivity in the air.
Many people also wake up early on Diwali. Whether it is because it is an auspicious day or it is a happy that day people wake up early due to their excitement is still up for debate. Nevertheless, it does not negate the fact that people wake up early on the day of Diwali.
For Hindus, Diwali is the festival of lights, and they celebrate it with all the fervor. On this day, they step out of the darkness and into the light, towards a better life.