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Dhanteras To Bhaiya Dooj: Significance of The 5 Festivals That Mark Diwali Celebrations

Know all about the 5 festivals that mark Diwali celebrations.

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Updated:October 19, 2018, 5:40 PM IST
Dhanteras marks the beginning of the five-day festival of Diwali. Diwali preparations commence with cleaning the house and Dhanteras holds special importance as on this day people clean the Ishan Kon i.e. the North-East corner. It is believed that Goddess of Wealth – Laxmi resides in the Ishan Kon.

Let us take you through the five festivals that helm Diwali celebrations and their significance to know the rich ideology that each festivity brings with it.

1. Dhanteras - 17th October 2017

The word Dhanteras comes from the Sanskrit word 'Dhan' (wealth) and 'teras' (13th day of the Krishna paksha in the Ashwin month). Goddess of Wealth – Laxmi and the treasurer of Gods – Kuber are worshipped on this day. Hindu devotees buy gold ornaments and silver utensils as it is believed to bring good luck that attracts prosperity through the year.

2. Chhoti Diwali - 18th October 2017

The next day after Dhanteras, is celebrated as Chhoti Diwali, which precedes the main festival of Diwali. Chhoti Diwali is also known Narak Chaturdasi. As per the legends, it is on this day, that Demon King Narakasur was beheaded by Lord Krishna’s wife – Satyabhama. Chhoti Diwali is specifically celebrated in Maharashtra and South India, where people take bath before sunrise and apply uptans and fragrances to mark victory of good over evil.

3. Lakshmi Puja - 19th October 2017

Although Diwali falls on Amavasya (no moon), it is considered as the most auspicious night as it marks the day Lord Rama returned home after his exile. The Lakshmi-Ganesh Puja on Diwali is elaborate and is believed to usher peace, prosperity and wealth. During the Lakshmi Pujan, five deities are worshipped together viz - Ganesha to mark the beginning of an auspicious ceremony, followed by Goddess Mahalakshmi in three forms viz MahaLakshmi (the goddess of wealth), Mahasaraswati (the goddess of learning), and Mahakali (the goddess of time and death); and Kuber (treasurer of Gods).

4. Govardhan Puja and Gudi Padwa - 20th October 2017

Govardhan Puja marks the day when Lord Krishna saved the people of Gokul by lifting Govardhan hill, from the ire of Devraj Indra. As per the legend, Krishna lifted the Govardhan hillock on his little finger and the people of Gokul got shelter under it. Govardhan Puja is celebrated to honor Lord Krishna with Chappan (56) Bhog, which gives it another name – Annakut Puja. At some places, this day is celebrated as Gudi Padwa. As per the customs, newly married girls are invited to their maternal homes with their husbands to offer feast and rejoice the festivity.

5. Bhaiya Dooj – 21st October 2017

Bhaiya Dooj falls on the second day after the new moon and celebrates the unconditional bond of love between a brother and sister. As per the legend, on this day, God of death – Yamraj went to visit his sister Yami, after a long period. Yami welcomed him with great zeal, prepared a hearty feast and welcomed him with a tilak on his forehead. Yamraj was so elated with his sister’s love and hospitality that he asserted, that every year, if a sister puts tilak on her brother’s forehead, then no one will be able to harm him and he’ll be protected from Yamraj. Thereby, Bhaiya Dooj is observed for the long life of brothers.

| Edited by: Manila Venugopal
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