Festivals are the lifeblood of all nations. They add charm and thrill to our humdrum life. India being a melting-pot of religious race an d cultures, it has a plethora of festivals and feasts. Among these, Diwali perhaps is the most pan-Indian festival celebrated with great pomp and mirth throughout the length and breadth of the country, largely in Northern and Central India. Diwali, better known as Deepawali among the Indian masses, is a festival of lights. There are many reasons why Diwali is celebrated. It’s not just the festive mood in the air that makes us happy, or just that it’s a great time to enjoy before the advent of winter. The Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi incarnated on the new moon day of the Kartik month, hence Diwali is associated with Lakshmi. It is also believed that Diwali is connected with the triumph of Lord Krishna over the demon king Narakasur However, the most prevalent belief is that the festival marks the victory of Lord Ram over Ravana.
On this day, it is believed that Rama came back to Ayodhya after his victory over the evil king of Lanka, Ravana who had taken away his wife Sita. People greatly rejoiced the return of their beloved prince. They lighted up whole Ayodhya with earthen lamps, decorated their houses and welcomed them with pomp and ceremony. The present day celebration of Diwali is held in remembrance of this event. Diwali is generally celebrated in late October or early November, soon after the rainy season is over. A lot of preparation goes in before the actual festival. Houses are cleansed, white washed and painted. Every nook and corner of the house is swept clean. Thereafter, in the evening earthen lamps and decorative lights are put in and around the house giving an atmosphere of joy and happiness.
As the night approaches, children and people light up the sky with their firecrackers. The streets and markets bear a dazzling look. Illumination of every hue and color light up shops and buildings. Thus, there is gaiety, cheerfulness, merrymaking and fun everywhere. There is joy on every face. On this day every one puts on their best dress which has been purchased well in advance. Special meals and sweets are prepared. People exchange greetings and share sweets and meals as a mark of friendship and brotherhood. The festival of Diwali teaches us many values of life. More than anything else this festival symbolizes the ultimate victory of good over evil.
It teaches us that one day or other the evil existing in this world would be subdued by goodness and righteousness. Rama’s obedience to parents, Sita’s faithfulness, Lakshman’s unflinching love for his brother, etc. teach us many noble lessons of life. The festival is a national festival celebrated by everyone irrespective of caste, creed and race. It therefore, promotes unity, common brotherhood, and communal harmony. Hence, in a world like ours, broken by narrow domestic walls of religious fanaticism and social disharmony, a festival like Diwali can bring people together, heal wounds, and can help in fostering national integration. Diwali is thus, my favorite festival.