In the olden days of South India, Deepavali was once called as 'Kaumudi Mahostavam'. In those times the kings used to supervise the festivities of Diwali during the nights. The rituals and customs of those days are still followed such as black gram leaves are eaten even today. Lamps are distributed. Late in the night, women bring out their household weapons like dustpans, mops, etc, to drive away 'Jyesthadevi', the Goddess of penury.
It is believed that on Amavasya (no moon day), Goddess Lakshmi is present in sesame oil, and Gangadevi is present in all wells, lakes, and ponds. Sesame oil is used for taking bath. Plants like Uttarani, Anapa and Prapunnatamu are circled around the head before taking bath. Yama is worshiped facing South. It is believed that this helps in combating untimely death and in giving peace to the departed souls. In the evening, lamps are lightened almost everywhere in the town including the temples, hills, graveyards, etc.
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