The festival of Diwali has been an integral part of celebration life for Hindu religion in India. The history of Diwali celebration is related to the evolution and origins of the Hindu culture. Though, today it has become a symbol of having fun and enjoying life but it has its route engraved in the religious values of the Hindus.
Whenever, we talk about Diwali, everything that comes to our mind is Diyas, lightening, food, sweets and enjoyment with crackers. However, there is much more than this about Diwali. There is a deeper significance of the celebration of Diwali festival.
Developing a great understanding the history behind celebrating the festival of Diwali will definitely add to the charm of the festivity. It will give an altogether novel direction towards celebrating the day.
History behind Diwali Celebration
History related to Diwali has its presence in various interesting legends. These fascinating stories have been found in many religious Hindu scriptures including Puranas. The festival of Diwali is celebrated1 for a time period of five days and each of these days holds its significance.
The first day of the festival is called Dhanteras which is also called as the Dhantryaodashi. This day is celebrated in the month of Ashwin on its 13th day. It is believed that on this day Dhanvantari, the physicians of the almighty immerged from the ocean with a pot of Amrit in his hand. This day is believed to be an important day for the whole mankind. On this day, as per another legend, Goddess Lakshmi also came out of the ocean. And, that is the reason, that this day is considered very suitable for carrying out financial investments.
Like the fascinating history of the first day of Diwali, the second day too has an interesting story behind. This day is celebrated for, as per the scriptures it is believed that Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama overpowered the demon named Narakasura. The demon after getting the blessings of the Gods has become so much powerful that neither the Earth nor the heaven were able to get over his atrocities. He not only had defeated Lord Indra but he had also commited the sin of abduicting 16000 daughters of the saints. Also, he had stolen the earnings of Goddess Aaditi. And, so to get the world free from the atrocities and cruelties he had inflicted upon, Lord Krishna killed the demon. He was killed on the second day of Diwali and the day was called as Narak Chaturdashi.
The third day of the festival is referred with the name Deepawali. This day is the most important part of the celebration as it involves great celebration with diya and Laxmi Puja. The celebration of the day of Deepawali is related to the great history of Lord Rama who was considered as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. As per the scriptures, it was the return of Lord Rama with wife Sita and brother Laxman, from 14 long years of exile that the first Deepawali were celebrated in Ayodhya.
The fourth day of the festival celebrates the kind and benevolent cat of Lord Krishna in which he protected the villager’s of his place from incessant rain by lifting up the Govardhan parvat situated in Mathura.
The 5th day and the last day of the festival are celebrated with the name Bhai Dooj. On this day, it is believed that Yamaraj the God of death visited his sisters’s place and he was so very much overwhelmed with the love and affection she showered upon that he declared this day to be celebrated every year on the same time as the day of brothers and sisters. And, on this day every brother will visit his sister and spend some quality time with her.
In addition to the related history of Hindus with the festival of Diwali, other communities like Sikh and Jain have their own reasons to celebrate this day. Sikhs celebrate this day because on this day, their sixth Guru attained freedom from the captivity of Mughals. While Jains believe tha ttheir God Mahavira, attained Nirvana on this day.