History of Divali
What is Divali?
Divali is the Hindu festival of light. It is the celebration of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and goodness over evil. Divali is the most important Hindu festival and is celebrated in the Hindu month of Kartik.
Who celebrates Divali?
Divali is celebrated throughout the world mainly by Hindus. However even non-Hindus can partake in the celebration.
How they celebrate Divali?
Hindus celebrate Divali by preparing vegetarian dishes and sweets. In the afternoon or as darkness approach, prayers are done to Mother Lakshmi. After this lots of deya’s are lit.
Why do they celebrate Divali and who do they pray to?
1. Goddess Lakshmi’s Birthday: The Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi incarnated on the new moon day (amaavasyaa) of the Kartik month during the churning of the ocean (samudra-manthan), hence the association of Diwali with Lakshmi.
2. Vishnu Rescued Lakshmi: On this very day (Diwali day), Lord Vishnu in his fifth incarnation as Vaman-avtaara rescued Lakshmi from the prison of King Bali and this is another reason of worshipping Ma Larkshmi on Diwali.
3. Krishna Killed Narakaasur: On the day preceding Diwali, Lord Krishna killed the demon king Narakaasur and rescued 16,000 women from his captivity. The celebration of this freedom went on for two days including the Diwali day as a victory festival. Hindus pray to Mother Lakshmi the goddess of wealth.
What are the preparations done before Divali?
In the week coming up to Divali, Hindus begin fasting. Fasting is keeping away from meats and all meat products. Hindus also stays away from alcohol. Hindus clean in and around their homes. They paint and put up new decorations. During this time Hindus also perform puja or prayers in their home.
A complete description of what is done on Divali day, morning and night.