Diwali 2019: Why Diwali is Celebrated, Story, History, Date and Rituals

DateYearDay
27th October2019Sunday
14th November2020Saturday
4th November2021Thursday
24th October2022Monday

Diwali Festival

Diwali is also known Deepawali and “festival of lights”, especially in countries overseas. Also referred as the “Indian Christmas”. It is the most joyous and looked forward to festival in India. The return of Ram to Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile out of his father’s kingdom was celebrated this day. During his rule, everyone in Ayodhya was very happy as he was a just ruler and the period during which he was king is referred to as Ram Rajya.

Diwali comes twenty days after Dussehra, in October or November. During Dussehra, we celebrate the destruction of Ravana by Ram because he had abducted his wife, Sita. Sita was safe and back with Ram and his fourteen years of exile was drawing to an end.

Fourteen years earlier, Queen Kaikeyi had called on a promise from her husband and sent Ram to exile so that her son. Bharat, would sit on the throne. Bharat loved his brother, Ram, and knew how wrong his mother was. He refused to take Ram’s place, instead, he put Ram’s  wooden slippers on the throne and waited the fourteen years for Ram’s return.

He sent a message to Ram to say if Ram did not return to Ayodhya on the last day of his exile, he would kill himself. To welcome Ram, Sita and Lakshman back home, the people of Ayodhya lit up their homes with diyas and the whole of Ayodhya looked like it was day, and not night. And so it has followed, year after year, we celebrate Diwali by lighting diyas and candles in our homes.

Deepawali Festival

Two days before Diwali is Dhan Teras. On this day, all that is required for Diwali is bought, including fire crackers for the children, A day before Diwali, Chhoti Diwali’s celebrated, fire crackers are set off but only a few, the rest are saved for the big day Fourteen days of candles are lit, fourteen for the number of years of exile that Ram had to undergo.

Before Diwali, all the shops are decorated and well lit. Beautiful gifts are on display to be bought. The mithai shops do brisk business as people gift one another boxes of mithai, other eatables and gifts of all kind. Homes are decorated with flowers and rangoli decorations are made inside and outside homes.

Cards sessions are held in rotation in different homes. On Diwali day, friends and family visit one another, exchanging gifts. People are in high spirits, and every one dresses well. Then it is time for firecrackers and children and grownups have an enjoyable time. Thus, we celebrate the great festival called Diwali or Deepawali.

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