Diwali/Deepavali in United States ― Date, History, and Details
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History of Diwali/Deepavali in United States and How to Celebrate/ Observe It
Diwali is a five-day Hindu festival that originated in the Indian subcontinent. The name “Diwali” is a contraction of “Deepavali,” which translates to “row of lights.” Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains throughout the world and is one of the most popular festivals in India. The festival commemorates the return of Lord Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana from their 14-year exile in the forest. In celebration, the people of Ayodhya lit rows (avali) of clay lamps (deepa).
Diwali is typically celebrated in October or November, depending on the lunar calendar. The festival begins with Dhanteras, followed by Naraka Chaturdasi on the second day, Diwali on the third day, Lakshmi Puja on the fourth day, and ends with Bhai Dooj on the fifth day. Each day of the festival has its own significance.
Dhanteras marks the beginning of the Diwali festival. On this day, Hindus worship the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. It is believed that Lakshmi brings prosperity and good fortune. People buy new clothes and gold on this day.
Naraka Chaturdasi, also known as Chhoti Diwali, is the second day of the festival. It is believed that on this day, Lord Krishna destroyed the demon Narakasura. Hindus celebrate this day by lighting clay lamps and performing puja.
Diwali, the third day of the festival, is the most important day. On this day, Hindus worship the goddess Lakshmi and light diyas (clay lamps) to welcome her into their homes. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and it is believed that she brings good luck and fortune to those who worship her.
The fourth day of the festival is known as Govardhan Puja. On this day, Hindus worship Govardhan, the mountain that Lord Krishna is said to have lifted to save the people of his village from a flood.
The fifth and final day of the festival is Bhai Dooj. On this day, brothers visit their sisters and exchange gifts. This day celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters.
Diwali is a joyous occasion that is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains all over the world. The festival is a time for family, friends, and community. It is a time to give thanks for the blessings of the past year and to pray for a prosperous future.