Diwali – festival of lights!
Diwali often termed as Dipavali literally means array of lamps. In accord to its name, Diwali – the festival of lights is a prominent and most celebrated festival in India. It is celebrated as a mark of return of Lord Rama after his exile for fourteen to his kingdom Ayodhya. People of Ayodhya lighted the whole kingdom with rows of lamps to celebrate the home coming of Lord Rama. Its significance also lies in celebrating the victory of Lord Rama over the devil Ravana who captivated Rama’s wife Sita.
In Gujarat, the festival is jubilated for five days – dhanateras, Kali Chaudas, Diwali, New Year and Bhai Dooj. According to the lunar calendar the thirteenth day of the – month is called dhan teras and as Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped on this day. This day is notable for business men as they perform holy rituals on their account books. On all five days devotees light lamps, fire crackers and exchange sweets. The fourth day of the festival marks the New Year of Gujaratis. People visit each other’s home and greet best wishes for the coming year.
The last day called Bhai Dooj has special significance for brothers and sisters as on this day sisters invite their brothers to come home and have food specially prepared for them to express their love for the brother. The Festival of Diwali is celebrated with great joy by people of all age groups. Crackers of varied forms are fired and houses and shops are lit with lamps, decorated with lightings and rangoli – designs of color. To sum up this festival of lights signify the celebration of inner joy and makes up for a gala time.