Diwali 2020: History, Significance and Celebrations

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India is a country full of festive seasons. Every month contains at least one or more of the festivals which are celebrated all over India. These are the times when all the people gather and share a special bond between them. All the hatred is forgiven and feeling of love develops among people.

Introduction

There are a number of festivals celebrated in India. But the one that is most awaited throughout the year is Deepawali or Diwali. It is also known as the festival of lights. It lasts for five days and is celebrated between the kartik months that is mid October or mid november. This festival is related to the goddess lakshmi. The main aim of the festival is to symbolise light over darkness. This year diwali will be celebrated on 14th November, Saturday.

History of Diwali

There are different historical beliefs behind celebrating Diwali. The diyas are described as a part of sun which provide cosmic rays and also which provides energy to all the life. Kinh Harsha refers to Deepawali as “Dipapratipadotsava” which means lightening of the lights as lamps and diyas were used to light the houses. Diwali was also described by several travellers from outside the india. According to them diwali was celebrated on the new moon in the month of kartik

Religious significance of Diwali

As being the festival of lights, Diwali is celebrated by all the religions. But these religions have their own faith in celebrating the festival. It is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists. The overall aim of the festival by all religion is to promote victory of light over darkness, love over hatred and good over evil.

Hinduism: The religious significance of festival varies over different regions of India. The festival is related to several deities, traditions. The main tradition that follows is related to the Hindu epic-RAMAYANA. According to it, Lord Rama, mata Sita, lakshman and Hanuman.. they all returned from “vanwaas” after 14 years. People throughout the world lighted diyas, lamps to show their happiness on their return. They also decorated each and every corner of the market places, houses to depict their love towards Lord Rama.
As per one another tradition, Krishna in the period of Dwapara Yuga killed the demon Narakasura, the king of Pragjyotishapura.Therefore diwali was celebrated to express victory of good over evil.

Many hindus also associate the festival with Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. She is the wife of lord Vishnu.

Jainism: According to some jainis the diwali is celebrated in observance of ” Mahavira nirvana diwas”.

Sikhism: Sikhs celebrate Bandi chor diwas in remembrance of the release of Shri Guru Hargobind Singh Ji from Gwalior fort prison by Mughal emperor Jahangir. Therefore they celebrated diwali as the guruji returned to Golden temple in Amritsar.

5 Day of Diwali

Before 20 days of diwali dussehra is celebrated. Few days before the dushera the play of ramayana begins in different areas. People from different fields participate in the play of ramleela. Therefore on the day of dussehra end of Ramayana is done. The lord Rama kills the Ravana thus depicting the victory of good over evil. After dussehra, diwali itself is celebrated for five days.

  • The 1st day is celebrated as Dhanteras. On this day people clean their homes and business places. They decorate their homes and shops. The main feature includes buying of the new utensils, jewellery and home equipments.
  • The second day is celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi
  • The third day as Lakshmi pujan,kali puja
  • The fourth day Govardhan puja
  • The fifth day as the Bhai duj.

Celebrations of Diwali Every Year

Few days before diwali, people start to clean their homes and work places giving away all the old non usable stuff. They start to get new paint on the walls. People start to decorate their homes with different types of lights and lamps and paper works. They also make rangolis. Everybody buys new clothes. Different areas organise fairs and fest to attract more and more people towards shopping and swings for children. The market is full of lights and new stuff.

This is the time when maximum shopping is done in India. People buy new clothes, jewellery and gifts for their loved ones. Children are usually fond of crackers and fireworks. There is government holiday on the day of Diwali. Therefore all the people they enjoy this holiday of the festival. People wear new clothes on this day. They make sweet dishes and food. Everybody wishes each other and relatives and neighbours. Children start to fire crackers in the morning itself. At night, people perform Lakshmi puja, the goddess of wealth. After this, they lights diyas, candles at their homes.

Issues Which We May Face During Diwali

The main issue which our country might face during diwali season is AIR POLLUTION. The pollution is caused due to the firecrackers and lightning. As the fire crackers give our alot of combustion fuel which is a health hazard. People are unaware of the effects of firecrackers. It may cause lung diseases later on if not taken care of. The concentration of Sulphur dioxide increases in the air during the diwali season. The lightning which we use give out several radiations which are harmful for animals and environment. The best source of lightning is the diya which is lighted with the help of desi ghee or oil. It keeps the environment safe and kills harmful germs and cleans the atmospheric air.
The other issue which we might face if the fire burns as people burst crackers without been conscious, it may cause injuries. So, one must be protective while burning crackers and keep children safe.

Effect of Covid-19 on Diwali 2020

As we know the world is facing a pandemic, we need to be extra cautious while celebrating diwali. Due to this pandemic, the sales in the market has decreased. As compared to the last years, the orders in the market have decreased from 70% to 30% this year. This has caused a great loss to the producer companies. Apart from this wearing of masks for the whole time will make celebrations not as same as always. But it is for our protection. People won’t be able to gather at places to spend some time together.

Conclusion

Festivals are celebrated to develop the feeling to love and care among the people. It should just not be considered as burning of crackers and decorating houses. One should have that love for everyone around. We must let all our negativity to burn out and fill ourselves with positivity and love. Let all the hatred go away and spread the message of love and brotherhood. This year we need to keep ourselves more safe from COVID-19 by wearing masks and sanitising our hands from time to time.

Writing Credits – Salony Goyal