The Deepavali also known by Divali or Diwali is a religious celebration that extends over the course of five days, usually between October and November, according to the Vedic calendar. The festival is recognized in many countries with Indian presence, beyond India like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, Mauritius, Malaysia, Singapore, and others. For Hindus it is one of the most important festival, celebrated mainly in the family. In Malaysia and Singapore is as important as perhaps the best known Thaipusam.
The name literally means row of lanterns in fact the deepavali, also known as the festival of lights, is characterized precisely by oil lamps and luminaries who want to symbolize the victory of light over darkness, that is, of good over evil. The lamps are lit at night in the Indian dwellings, houses are clean, and people dress up in their Sunday best or new clothes, all as a form of respect and invitation to the goddess Lakshmi which is dedicated to the third day of festivities.
Botti, firecrackers and fireworks are fired because the sounds are deemed able to drive away evil spirits. During the celebration, after the ritual prayers, meals are shared between relatives, family members and friends, who may move in even more remote homes in the area, to visit their loved ones in the course of the five days of festivities.
Beyond the literal meaning of the name or the type of connotation of the rites and practices that the party has acquired over time, the spiritual significance of this celebration is to be aware of their inner light, so that the lights of the luminary have an allegorical meaning in the light of his own soul. In Hindu philosophy is central to the concept of the soul called atman, that is something that exists beyond the physical body and also the mind, which is pure, infinite and eternal.
The festival, like almost all the celebrations of the Hindu religion, is very colorful and lively. Numerous rangoli, designs made of colored sand are created every corner of the cities and temples, only to be wiped out at the end of the festival their composition is similar to the Buddhist mandalas, but the designs are linked to the mythology and symbolism.
Since this is a holiday that is distinguished by its conduct in private homes, a bit like Christmas, it is certainly more exciting to be able to participate in the moment of silence at a family residence in India.
Deepavali literally meaning row of lights involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil. On the day of Deepavali people exchange gifts, burst firecrackers, light fireworks, colourful sparklers and bonfires and have festive meals. In this period, people celebrate by buying new clothes, illuminating the houses and bursting firecrackers.
Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil and is one of the happiest nights of the year. Shri Lakshmi, goddess consort of the god Vishnu, presiding over the festivities and is in charge of bestowing prosperity and wealth. Even other deities are worshiped on this day, as the goddess Kali and the god Ganesha.
In this magical night are lit oil lamps and candles at sunset. In addition, the celebration of Diwali is celebrated also preparing special dinners. Other customs are the ones to get gifts on the occasion of this festival, do housework and prepare it for the coming year. Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is one of the oldest and most important festivals celebrated all over India.
It recalls the return of Rama, a manifestation of Vishnu, in his capital Ayodhya after 14 years of exile and wandering. Symbolically, then, we celebrate the return of the Light in his home of origin. Rama, after defeating his brother Lakshmana and his army of monkeys, the king of Lanka, Ravana, who had abducted his wife Sita as told in the epic Ramayana, returns to Ayodhya laden with glory and honor.
With the people of Ayodhya on Diwali the whole of India celebrates the return of Rama with fireworks, firecrackers and lighting up the night all the houses with terracotta lamps of oil or butter, the diyas, unforgettable in an explosion of light and color.
The festival of Diwali starts two days before the effective date and continues for two more days. Dhanteras is the first day of celebration, of Diwali. The custom has it that on this auspicious day to buy some new tools for the home, which must be cleaned from top to bottom for the occasion and for those who can afford it, even some gold chain.
On the eve of Choti Diwali people remember Hanuman, the monkey god, and in turn looking for great devotee of Rama, who came flying into town to announce to the people of the imminent return of Lord Rama. Typical of Chhoti Diwali sweets are called mithai, made of flour and honey, stuffed in various ways and then fried in ghee. And tradition that owners and entrepreneurs will lead the office, shop or home to offer them to their employees.
Much in use expose small houses of clay whose center sits a picture of Lakshmi as well as statues of Ganesha and Goddess that will be used in the puja , a religious ceremony. Why Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and abundance associated with gold, is in fact the star of the festival and according to tradition, will visit the houses full of lights during these days to bring prosperity.
In fact, on diwali begins the new year and a Indian commercial accounting book is inaugurated. Beautiful rangolis are made on the outside of houses and shops, always punctuated by myriads of lights. Finally comes the day of Diwali. Its very common practice to start the day, before dawn, with a purifying bath followed by a massage with scented oils.
Perform properly with this ritual is equivalent, religiously speaking, such an ablution in the Ganges, according to tradition. The altar of the puja is decorated with fresh flowers and wreaths are placed around the statues of Lakshmi and Ganesha. Before it gets dark at sunset, all family members dressed in gorgeous traditional costumes will gather for a solemn puja. The most delicious dishes, the mithai and lots of fruit, are placed on display alongside the new tools bought for the house.
And after the ceremony and the banquet, the festival begins. Fireworks galore, songs, music for the day-lit streets, where you will see the amazing art of dress and adorn the Indian people in the party.