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Diwali fever grips nation

  • Diwali, lights, crackers, festival, Deepawali, Lakshmi, Kali Puja, Vishnu, puja, prayer, lights, gifts

    The festival of lights starts with Dhanteras on the first day, followed by Naraka Chaturdashi on the second, and Deepavali falls on the third day -- ‘amavasya’ or new moon.

    Diwali Padva, celebrating the husband-wife bond on the fourth day, ends with Bhai Dooj, which is dedicated to the sister-brother relationship.

  • Diwali, lights, crackers, festival, Deepawali, Lakshmi, Kali Puja, Vishnu, puja, prayer, lights, gifts

    Diwali is celebrated in several countries, including India, Nepal, Malaysia, Mauritius and Pakistan, where people worship Lakshmi — the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles.

  • Diwali, lights, crackers, festival, Deepawali, Lakshmi, Kali Puja, Vishnu, puja, prayer, lights, gifts

    Since Diwali is associated with harvest, celebrating the arrival of wealth and blessings, in rural areas it is celebrated as the harvest festival.

    Photo: Sanjay Sharma

  • Diwali, lights, crackers, festival, Deepawali, Lakshmi, Kali Puja, Vishnu, puja, prayer, lights, gifts

    Diwali marks the remembrance of the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after his 14-year banishment, during which he killed Ravana.

    Some celebrate it as the return of Pandavas after their 12 years of vanwaas (exile) and a year of agyatvaas.

  • Diwali, lights, crackers, festival, Deepawali, Lakshmi, Kali Puja, Vishnu, puja, prayer, lights, gifts

    In Bengal, Kali Puja is celebrated on the night of Diwali as a festival to control ego and cleanse one’s spirit.

    As the legend goes, Kali had stepped unknowingly on Lord Shiva's bare body (he lay on purpose to stop her). That brought her rampage of slaughtering demons to an end.

  • Diwali, lights, crackers, festival, Deepawali, Lakshmi, Kali Puja, Vishnu, puja, prayer, lights, gifts

    Historical mention of Diwali is found in Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra, between the 3rd century BC and 2nd century AD.

    Sanskrit scriptures mention the festival as Skanda Purana and Padma Purana.

  • Diwali, lights, crackers, festival, Deepawali, Lakshmi, Kali Puja, Vishnu, puja, prayer, lights, gifts

    In a 7th century Sanskrit play, King Harsha mentions Deepapratipadutsava, a festival when diyas are lit and newly married couples are given gifts, in remembrance of the marriage of Vishnu and Lakshmi.

  • Diwali, lights, crackers, festival, Deepawali, Lakshmi, Kali Puja, Vishnu, puja, prayer, lights, gifts

    In the 9th century book, Kayvamimamsa, Rajasekhara refers to Deepavali as Dipamalika, which includes the tradition of cleaning homes and roads, and markets being decorated with lights.

  • Diwali, lights, crackers, festival, Deepawali, Lakshmi, Kali Puja, Vishnu, puja, prayer, lights, gifts

    The iconic diyas or lamps symbolise Surya, or the sun that emits light and energy.

    The story of Diwali is a reminder that right always prevails over wrong.

  • Diwali, lights, crackers, festival, Deepawali, Lakshmi, Kali Puja, Vishnu, puja, prayer, lights, gifts

    Several businessmen also mark this day as the beginning of the financial year by offering ‘bahi khata’ or account books to goddess Lakshmi. Since she is associated with wealth, they believe her blessings are considered good for their career.

    Investors also make some token purchases in Mahurat trading on stock exchanges.

    This year, muhurat trading will be held from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm on October 30.

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