Contributed by : Shina Utavani   

This is a story of bhai Dooj, dhanteras, Diwali, Kali chaudas, Laxmi, Ram and Ravan.

Diwali is celebrated as 5 following days:

Day 1: Dhanteras

It is the beginning of the Diwali Festival. The day is known as ‘Dhanteras’. People around the country consider this day very auspicious and religious. ‘Dhan’ means ‘wealth’ and ‘teras’ means ‘the 13th day of lunar cycle’. People worship Goddess Laxmi or Lord Ganesha on this day. They are worshipped for wealth, prosperity and well-being. Buying Gold or silver is considered auspicious and people usually do buy these elements as a sign of good omen.

Story Behind Dhanteras:

There was a king named Heema. He had a young son and he was destined to be dead by a snake bite on the fourth day of his marriage. When he got married, his wife kept him awake on the fourth day in order to save his husband’s life. She prepared a large heap of gold and silver coins. She lit diyas and lamps. She also sang prayers in her soulful voice to keep her husband awake. When Yama, the god of death, appeared and his eyes were glorified by the light of lamps and shine of ornaments. He could not see anything and hence he had to return. Thus, the clever wife was successful in saving his husband’s life.

Thus, from that day, it is celebrated with lights and candles and people buy gold and silver and worship it to pay the tribute.

2. Kali Chaudas

The second day of the Diwali week is called Kali Chaudas. It is also known as NarakChaturdasi. The day is allotted to worship Mahakali or Shakti. It is believed that on this day Kali killed the most dangerous demon Narakasura. This day is to abolish Laziness and evil in our life. By killing the demon, the world was freed from the fear. It is believed that one should not light diyas or step out on this day and rather stay at home and relax.

3. Diwali

Finally, the third day of the week is celebrated as Diwali. It is the celebration of light over darkness. It holds the meaning that light dispels the darkness of ignorance. The sole purpose of firecrackers and lights is to glorify the light of God. On this day, people clean their houses, light diyas, wear new clothes and worship Goddess Laxmi. The Goddess is worshipped for wealth and prosperity. Lakshmi puja is the most important of all rituals.

Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama from his fourteen year-long exile after defeating the demon king Ravana. The return of Lord Ram was celebrated by lighting diyas and decorations in the city of Ayodhya. People cleaned their houses and lit up diyas in order to celebrate the return of Lord Rama. From that day, people celebrate Diwali.

4. New Year

The fourth day of the week is celebrated differently in different parts of the country. In the western states of India like Gujarat, this day is celebrated as Bestu-Varsh, the New year as per their calendar. The day is celebrated with great pomp and joy.

In northern states, this day is celebrated as Govardhan Pooja and Vishwakarma Day, when people worship their arms, instruments, and machinery. This day is also called Annakut.

5. Bhai Dooj

The fifth and the last day of the week is celebrated as Bhai Dooj. This day signifies the relationship between brothers and sisters. The sisters pray to God for a long and prosperous life of their brothers. On this day, sisters request their brothers to come to their home for celebrating Bhai Dooj. The sister makes delicious food for her brother. It is just like Raksha Bandhan. 

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