Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is a significant and vibrant celebration in Hindu culture. It spans five days, each carrying its own unique traditions and meanings. Let’s explore the five days of Diwali in 2023:
Day 1: Dhanteras (November 9, 2023)
Dhanteras marks the beginning of Diwali celebrations. It is a day dedicated to wealth and prosperity. People clean and decorate their homes, and many believe that buying gold, silver, or new utensils on this day brings good luck. Diyas (oil lamps) are lit to symbolize the victory of light over darkness.
Day 2: Naraka Chaturdashi / Choti Diwali (November 10, 2023)
On this day, people wake up before sunrise and take an oil bath. It is believed that taking a bath with oil helps to cleanse and purify the body. In some regions, this day is known as Choti Diwali, and people light earthen lamps and draw colorful rangoli patterns to adorn their homes.
Day 3: Diwali (November 11, 2023)
The main day of Diwali is a festival of grand celebrations. People decorate their homes with colorful rangoli, light diyas, and adorn their surroundings with lights and decorations. Families gather to worship Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and seek her blessings for prosperity. Bursting fireworks and sharing sweets are customary on this day, symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness.
Day 4: Annakut / Govardhan Puja (November 12, 2023)
Annakut, also known as Govardhan Puja, is observed to commemorate Lord Krishna’s victory over the arrogant Indra. People prepare a variety of vegetarian dishes as an offering to the deities. Elaborate food displays, resembling a mountain, are created. It is a day of expressing gratitude and devotion through the sharing of food.
Day 5: Bhai Dooj (November 13, 2023)
Bhai Dooj is a day that celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. Sisters perform aarti for their brothers, apply a tilak (mark) on their foreheads, and pray for their well-being. Brothers, in turn, give gifts to their sisters as a token of love and protection. It symbolizes the strong and enduring relationship between siblings.
In conclusion, the five days of Diwali in 2023 bring a range of customs and rituals that hold cultural and spiritual significance. From invoking wealth and cleansing to commemorating the triumph of light and fostering familial bonds, Diwali’s celebration encompasses a rich tapestry of traditions that reflect the diversity and unity of the Indian culture.