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History of Diwali

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 | 12:29:00 AM

Diwali dates back to ancient times in India, as a festival after the summer harvest in the Hindu calendar month of Karthikai. The festival is mentioned in Padma Purana, the Skanda Purana, and other Sanskrit Hindu scriptures the divas (lamps) are mentioned in Skanda Purana to symbolically represent parts of sun, the cosmic giver of light and energy to all life, who seasonally transitions in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik. The festival of Diwali is celebrated for five days in India and each day holds its own importance. The first day of Diwali festivities is known as Dhanteras or Dhantryaodashi, which is celebrated on the 13th day of the month of Ashwin. The second day of Diwali festivities is also quite interesting. It is said that on this day, Lord Krishna along with his wife Satyabhama, vanquished a demon named Narakasura. This demon after attaining a boon from the gods had become so powerful that both heaven and earth had become defenseless against him. The third day of the festivities, known as Deepavali, is the most important day of Diwali celebrations as it involves grand revelry. Hindu mythology the return of Lord Rama along with Sita and Lakshman from his fourteen year long exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana. In joyous celebration of the return of their king, the people of Ayodhya, the Capital of Rama, illuminated the kingdom with earthen diyas (oil lamps) and burst crackers. The fourth day has its own mythological history and commemorates the act of Lord Krishna, in which he picked up a hillock named Govardhan situated near Mathura to protect the villagers from insistent rain. The last and final day of Diwali festivities is known as Bhai Dooj. It is believed that on this day, Lord Yama visited his sister Yamuna and was so happy to spend time with her that he declared that whosoever brother shall visit his sister on this day will be blessed with health and wealth.

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