Deepavali - The festival of lightsDeepavali - the festival of lights is celebrated every year in the month of thula on or before new moon day(Amavasya). It is celebrated as a five day festival in North India. The first day is celebrated as Dhanteras,the second day as Naraka Chathurdasi,third day Diwali, the fourth day New Year and fifth day as Bhai Dhooj. According to myth there are many reasons and stories to celebrate this five day festival. On day of diwali Laksmi puja is performed in North India because diwali is considered as the festival of Goddess of Wealth,goddess Lakshmi.They clean their houses,decorate and light lamps all around the house to welcome Goddess Lakshmi,which nowadays is being followed by people of South India also. Clay lamps are lit as an indication of victory of light over darkness or victory of good over evil. Sweet made of almond is prepared to offer to goddess Lakshmi. But in South India,especially Tamilnadu celebrates the festival in a different way. People take oil bath early in the morning,wear new dress,burst crackers and share sweets among friends and relatives. It is believed that river Ganga in the North meets the river Cauvery in the South during this period. Both in South and North India sweets of different varieties are prepared and shared among friends and relatives. People visit each other's houses and a sense of unity is felt on this day. But the only thing which hurts me is the crackers,because crackers are made in Sivakasi by children below the age of 14 years,who due to their poverty work in these factories. Nowadays changes have taken place,thanks to the government's compulsory education for the children below 14 years(right to education act).
Anyway let us celebrate this Diwali with a sense of oneness in our minds.
Wish you all a HAPPY DEEPAVALI