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Diwali Festival Essay

1549 words - 7 pages

Diwali is one of the largest festivals found within Hindu tradition. Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists also celebrate this festival (Dilwali). It is a festival of happiness celebrated by Hindus all around the world. It is five continuous days, each day having an ideal or thought and being based on a legend. The legends differ based on what part of the world Diwali is being celebrated in (Festival). It is the harmony between these five ideas that makes Diwali such a special festival for Hindus (Diwali: Festival). New clothes are worn, gifts are exchanged, and sweets are baked (Festival). Diwali translates into “row of lamps” and involves the lighting of small oil lamps, which signifies the ...view middle of the document...

The lighting of the diyas is said to bring good luck and is a symbol of personal illumination (Diwali). The legend behind Dhanteras is about the sixteen year of son of King Hima who was meant to die. He was to be bitten by a snake four days after he was married and on that night, his wife did not let him sleep. Rather, she lit lamps, told stories, sang songs, and blocked the door with bags of gold and silver and ornaments. Yama Raj, the god of death, arrived disguised as a serpent and was blinded by the lights. He was unable to enter the room so he sat on the pile of ornaments and listened to the beautiful songs the wife was singing. Yama Raj left in the morning and the wife saved her husband from death.
At sunset, Hindus bathe and offer up a diyas, or lamps, and sweets to Yama Raj (Diwali). The diyas lit for Yama Raj are supposed to burn into the night in reverence and adoration of Yama. Hindus pray to him for protection from death. (Diwali: Festival).
The second day is Choti Diwali. Many of the activities performed throughout the first day, such as decorating the home and worshiping Lakshmi and Rama, are also performed on the second day (Diwali). This day honors the destruction of the demon Narakasur by Lord Krishna, which removed fear from the world (Diwali: Festival). Narakasur had stolen earrings from Lord Krishna’s wife and captured many daughters of the gods and saints. Lord Krishna’s wife was infuriated because of this and asked her husband to allow her to destroy Narakasur, which he permitted. Narakasur was beheaded and the daughters were released and married to Krishna. Lord Krishna spread the blood of the demon on his forehead and went home where women massaged his body with oils and bathed him (Diwali). To commemorate this, Hindus are supposed to massage their bodies with oil to rid it of tiredness, bathe, and rest, allowing them to celebrate the rest of Diwali with devotion (Diwali: Festival).
The third day is Lakshmi Puja and is the main day of celebration. On the third day, Hindus light candles and diyas and place them around their homes and fireworks are set off (Dilwali: Festival). Lighting these diyas shows the people’s honor and praise to God for the harvest and all that he has given them. In some villages, those celebrating this religion decorate and worship their cows because cows are seen as the incarnation of the goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity (Diwali). Lakshmi Puja is a Hindu prayer sung in the evening to the Goddess Lakshmi for wealth and prosperity throughout one’s lifetime. It contains of the worship of five gods: Ganesha, Lakshmi in her three forms, and Kuber (Diwali). Family and friends present gifts to each other on this night. The day of the festival is determined by the position of the moon. “No moon day” or Amavasya is considered the best day for the festival to be held on, usually in November of December. The candles are lit to drive away the darkness of...

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