Diwali, often called Deepavali is the popular Hindu festival that is usually commemorated on the specific day of ‘Amavasya’ or a new moon which is essentially the 15th day of Kartik as per the Hindu Calendar.
Over 5.51 lakh earthen lamps were lit at Saryu Ghat of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, India on the eve of Diwali 2019 as a part of Diwali celebrations which set a world record.
Diwali is celebrated largely in memory of the homecoming of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita to their own kingdom of Ayodhya after their exile of 14 long years. Their return was observed as the whole restoration of goodness on earth as Demon Brahmin King Ravana was executed in Lanka with the help of Lord Hanuman & Vanar Sena. Lord Rama became the King of Ayodhya on his return. The citizens of Ayodhya kindled the whole Kingdom with earthen diyas, which essentially earned it the name- festival of lights.
Diwali is referred to as Deepapratipadutsava in the seventh century Sanskrit play Nagananda basically because Lakshmi Puja is considered to be the celebration of the marriage of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, with Lord Vishnu, the protector. It is also believed Goddess Lakshmi was born from Samudra Manthan on the day of Diwali.
A notable legend marks Diwali in honor of the victory of Lord Krishna over the Demon king Naraka. Goverdhan Puja indicates the triumph of Lord Vishnu over the demon King Bali and also the victory of Lord Krishna over God Indra. Lord Krishna & Lord Rama are considered avatars of Lord Vishnu.
Another well-known legend describes the story of Yama and Nachiketa on Amavasya of Kartik. The tale explains the true correlations between conscience and knowledge- one of the many reasons why Diwali is glorified as the festival of light, prosperity, and wisdom.
Diwali is a meaningful festival for the Jains as Lord Mahavira, the last Tirtankar of the religion is said to have achieved Nirvana on October 15, 527 BC on the fourteenth day (Chaturdashi) of the Kartika month.
Sikhs observe Diwali as Bandi Chhor Divas. As the history maintains that it was on the day of Diwali that Guru Har Gobind Ji freed himself and many Hindu Kings from the severe captivity of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. He reached the Golden Temple of Amritsar in 1577 AD, thereafter.
Diwali is no more simply a festival reveled in India, it is now celebrated in multiple places on monumental scales around the globe. Happy Diwali to you and your loved ones 🙂