Diwali is a celebration of life and all the good that it has to offer; it is a time for togetherness and bonding. But the best thing about Diwali is that it is not celebrated as one solitary festival but along with its successors and predecessors. The festive feeling lingers for a quite some time owing to the week-long celebrations. The five days of Diwali spreads its luminosity across the length and breadth of the country is celebrated with exuberant intensity. However, each of the five days of Diwali has its unique significance, drawing from different legends and traditions of the Vedic era.
1. First Day: Dhanteras - 5th November 2018
The first day of this five-day festivity ushers in with 'Dhanteras' or 'Dhantrayodashi' setting the right tune for Diwali celebrations. This day pays homage to Lord Dhanvantari who is associated with Ayurveda and various healing practices for the betterment of mankind. On this day, it’s considered auspicious to take a holy bath at sunset, light a diya lamp around 'Tulsi' plant and praying to Lord Yama for the well-being of our near and dear ones. On this day, people participate in 'havan' and also chant powerful mantras to bring positivity into their lives.
2. Second Day: Naraka Chaturdasi - 6th November 2018
Hindus observe the second day as 'Narak Chaturdashi'. The significance of this day is grounded in the story of Lord Krishna's overwhelming triumph over a ferocious demon named 'Narakasur'. On this day, people keep their houses clean and use fragrant oils and flowers to keep vibrations uplifted. Artistic patterns of 'rangolis' made from a mixture of rice flour and water can be seen ubiquitously at the threshold of each house. A 'diya' is placed in each room as well as in the backyard through the night.
3. Third Day: Diwali - 7th November 2018
Of course, the most festive of the five days of Diwali festival is Diwali. The celebration of Diwali is based on the narrative when Lord Rama finally returned home from exile and was welcomed with a glittering row of lights radiating from every illuminated household. The word 'Deepavali' means an array of lights. Diwali, is, indisputably, among the most exciting and significant festivals of India. Well-lit up homes, parks, and public places make up the landscape on Diwali night, while colourful fireworks dot the sky. In shopping complexes, people are spoilt with choices in all domains. Households are abuzz with hectic activity around the preparation for Lakshmi puja to honour the Goddess of wealth. For more information on Diwali, read our blog on 13 reasons why we celebrate Diwali.
4. Fourth Day: Govardhan Puja - 8th November 2018
On the fourth day of this five day Hindu festival, Govardhan Puja is performed. The legend goes that Lord Indra was provoked and tried to submerge the town of Gokul. Lord Krishna saved the people of Gokul from the wrath of Lord Indra by lifting the Govardhan Mountain to provide succor. A blessing was bestowed on the Govardhan Mountain that it will be honored through the ages. The tradition has been followed ever since. Mathura and Nathdwara also witness a huge gathering of crowds in temples, where deities are bathed ritualistically and adorned with ornaments.
5. Fifth Day: Bhai Dooj - 9th November 2018
The fifth day of Diwali is 'Bhai Dooj', marking the end of this five day Hindu festival. It is endearing in the essence of it as it solely adheres to the strong filial bond of love between a brother and a sister. On Bhai Dooj, a 'teeka' of rice and vermilion is applied on the brother's forehead, followed by 'arti' and exchange of sweets and bhai dooj gifts, not to forget the ecstatic feast that follows. The brother promises to protect his sister from all evil, come what may while the sister prays for her brother's long and prosperous life.
The five days of Diwali festival, packed with entrenched ardour and zest, leaves us with warm memories to savour all through the year. All the five days of Diwali reinforces family bonds as people rise over abhor to embrace the divine light of love and oneness. Every day as special as the other these five days of Diwali are yet another reason to spend time with our families back home, exchange unique Diwali Gifts (also corporate Diwali gifts for employees) and share our love just like any other Indian festival.