Introduction to Deepavali - The Festival of Lights: A major Indian festival that is of immense significance in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism, Deepavali or Diwali is popularly hailed as the “Festival of Lights” and celebrated with great gusto and aplomb all over India. The legendary epic Ramayana has it that after defeating Ravana and rescuing Sita, Lord Rama returned triumphant to his capital Ayodhya where he was crowned. To commemorate the joyous occasion, people decorated their houses with lamps. Since then, this day is celebrated as Deepavali – The Festival of Lights.
As in other parts of India, Deepavali in Gujarat is celebrated with great fervor and gaiety. The festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil, and is marked by lamps being lit as a sign of celebration and hope for mankind. Deepavali Festival in Gujarat honors Lakshmi – the Goddess of Wealth.
Time of Celebration of Deepavali - The Festival of Lights: Deepavali – the festival of lights is usually celebrated in October/November, eaxctly 20 days after Dussehra – another important festival is celebrated.
Description of Deepavali - The Festival of Lights: A land of Festivals and Fairs, Gujarat state in India celebrates almost 3,500 festivals in different parts of the state every year. Deepavali is one of the most celebrated festivals in Gujarat. Diwali festival in Gujarat is celebrated with the lighting of tiny earthen oil lamps in every house, decorating the floors with beautiful rangoli and bursting of fire crackers. The dark backdrop of the night accentuates the divine beauty of the earthen oil lamps adorning the houses.
The festival spreads for four days, with Dhanteras (Dhanatrayodashi) being the first day, or rather the eve of the day on which the festival commences. Narkachaturdashi or Kalichoudas is the second day, followed by Lakshmi Puja and New Year simultaneously occurring on the third day. Bhaiya-duj is the last day of Diwali celebration. During Deepavali in Gujarat people worship Lakshmi – the Goddess of Wealth. The following day after Deepavali is celebrated as a New Year’s in Gujarat.
For traditional Hindu businessmen in Gujarat, Deepavali marks the end of the fiancial year. This is considered the most auspicious time to start new ventures. Symbolic favorable business deals are done to mark the prosperity in business for the following year.